CREATE A HOME ESCAPE PLAN
Tot Finder Stickers
Tot-finders are stickers or window decals used to alert firefighters to the locations of children's bedrooms. Many fire departments request residents to place these decals on windows of their children's bedrooms. Tot-finders can be useful if used properly but too many times they are not used correctly. Although people frequently call the fire department requesting Tot-finder stickers, we would encourage our citizens to spend more time planning escape routes with their children using E.D.I.T.H (Exit Drills in the Home) and taking other precautions. Decals can give families a false sense of security; they may imply that it is safe for children to wait to be rescued. Decals also can signal a vulnerable area in the home and could put sleeping children (and the whole household) at risk of intrusion from burglars.
If you should happen to have a Tot Finder decal on one of your windows it is recommended that it be removed! Firefighters will question homeowners on arrival if there is anyone trapped. (Or it is reported pre-arrival to dispatchers) It is also fire departments standard operating procedures to do a primary search which is then followed up by a more thorough secondary search.
Home Escape Plans
Creating a home escape plan is a simple thing to do, the challenging thing is to keep practicing the plan and teaching it to your children. The few minutes you spend with your family practicing your escape plan can save their lives. As each home differs there is no way that we can provide you with an exact escape plan for your home, you will need to develop that on your own with your family. What we can do to help is provide some "tips" to follow when designing your plan. Keep in mind these are only suggestions and you should use them as you feel the need:
- Keep all bedroom doors closed at night. Keeping bedroom doors closed while sleeping slows the travel of toxic fumes and smoke during a fire.
- Make sure you have smoke detectors installed and tested monthly.
- Plan to group in a room that has a roof you can crawl out onto and signal for help.
- Rooms without a roof should have a drop down window ladder.
- If you hear your smoke detector going off at night, feel the door and the handle before opening it. If the door or handle is warm, do not open it.
- If you are trapped in a room, and cannot escape through a window, you should take the following precautions:
- Use something to block the bottom opening of the door, like sheets, towels, or clothing. This will slow the smoke from entering the room.
- If there is a window, stay close to the window to signal for help when the fire department arrives.
- If the smoke starts to enter the room stay low to the floor. The smoke and heat will naturally rise to the highest point. Do not hang from the window opening, the smoke and heat are going to vent through this opening, hanging out the opening prevents proper venting, exposes you to the hazardous gases, and you could potentially fall.