- Participants will identify two ways out of every room in the event of a fire.
- Participants will identify two ways to escape their home in the event of a fire.
- Participants will identify a safe place to meet with their housemates in the event of a fire.
We are having this class today to learn about fire safety. Has anyone ever been in a fire or know someone who has been in a fire?
Allow participants to share personal experiences they have had with fire.
Thousands of people get hurt or killed by fire in their homes every year. Does anyone know the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries?
Show Picture #1 (kitchen picture).
Ask individual participants: Has anyone been in a fire that involved cooking?
Allow participants to share their experiences.
Be alert if you are cooking. If you are sleepy, if you are taking medicine, don’t cook. Pay attention to what you are cooking. Watch your food. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking.
During this class we are going to make sure that everyone here can get out of their house if there is a fire in their home.
How many people live independently or would like to be more independent?
Have participants share their living arrangement with the group. For participants living with family, inquire if they spend time alone in their home.
This class is for people who are independent or would like to be more independent than they are. People who are independent need to know what to do if there is a fire.
In this class you are going to learn how to keep your home and yourself safe from fire.
Show picture #2 (person in bed, and smoke alarm beeping).
You are going to learn what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.
More people are killed by breathing in smoke than are killed by burns. Smoke from a fire in another room cause death.
We will talk about how to avoid smoke.
Everyone here is going to have their own plan for escaping fire and will practice it. That means everyone is going to figure out two ways to get out of their home in an emergency and two ways out of every room, when possible.
For this audience we will not have a written exit plan or map. They should find their way out and practice and then state what they would do.
The plan is not written down but something participants should keep in mind.
Hold up the smoke alarm.
This is a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms are on the ceilings or the walls of people’s homes. Smoke alarms tell you to get out of the house. They wake you up if you are asleep.
There are a lot of things we are going to be learning in this class.
You are going to learn how to get out of your home safely in a fire. The key to getting out of your home safely is to have a plan. You must practice that plan so you know exactly what to do in the event of a fire.
Has anyone ever been in a fire drill at work or at school?
Allow participants to share their experiences with fire drills.
Fire drills are a way to practice what to do in the event of a fire. As adults in your own homes, you need to plan your own fire drill and practice it with the people in your home. A fire drill is when you practice your fire plan.
Everyone is going to think about their own fire plan or fire escape plan and keep it in mind.
Show picture #3 (people exiting burning house by getting low and going through front door).
To make a fire escape plan, you need to figure out the quickest and easiest way to get out of your home. For most people that will be your front door.
Can anyone think of an easier way to get out of your home than the front door?
Listen to responses and adjust the following commentary for any participants who may escape their home by a means other than their front door.
The safest thing for most people to do is to get low and go out of their front door as quickly as possible.
When there is a fire you should not try to grab clothes or look for your wallet. When there is a fire, leave your things, get low and go right away.
Getting low and going out of your home quickly and safely is your fire escape plan.
To get low and go out of your home quickly and safely, you need to have a clear pathway out the front door. That means you cannot have junk and clutter on the floor of your home.
If there is not a clear path, it will be more difficult to get low and go out of your home safely.
Have participants talk about any clutter in their homes that could block their way out in the event of a fire.
It will be a lot easier to get low and go out of your home when there is a fire if there is no clutter.
Fires can start at nighttime when it is dark and you are asleep. When it is dark there is a lot of smoke so you cannot see. If there is junk all over the floor, it can be difficult to get low and go out quickly and safely. This is why it is important to have a plan to get out of your home. You need a clear path so you can get out.
Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Does anyone know the two ways to get out of a room?
Ask this question until several participants respond correctly.
One way out is the door. A second way out is the window or another door.
Ask individual participants, “How would you get out of your house if there was a fire?
Ask this question until several participants respond correctly.
It is possible that a fire may block your front door so that you cannot escape through the front door. For this reason it is very important that everyone here can get out of their home in more than one way.
If you cannot get out your front door, you need to have a second fire escape plan. Everyone’s home is different, so everyone’s second fire escape plan is going to be different.
How many people have more than one door that leads outside your home?
For all students with a back door, ask a series of questions to learn if their back door could be used as a means of escaping their home in case of a fire. Where does their back door lead? Could it trap them somewhere like a garage?
Some people may be able to get low and go out another door if their front door is blocked by fire.
How many people have windows in their home?
Again, ask a series of questions to people with windows in their homes. Where do the windows lead? Do they live on a ground floor? Does it lead to a fire escape?
If there is a fire blocking your front door, the safest thing to do may be to climb out of a window if it is on the first floor. Or you can wait by the window and use something, such as a light-colored cloth, or a flashlight to signal to firefighters.
Participants are going to have different secondary escape plans.
You may need to climb down a fire escape.
You will need to know how to do this so well that you can do it when the fire is right in front of you.
Show picture #4 (building occupants at the designated meeting place with one person calling 9-1-1 on a cell phone. Smoke is coming out of a window).
The next step in creating your own fire escape plan is to have a meeting place you can go to after you get out of the house. This is called your safe meeting place.
It is very important to have a safe meeting place as part of your fire escape plan. It is important to get out of the house and stay out. You’ll want your meeting place to be a safe distance from your home, but not too far away. Many people choose a tree, a light pole, or a mailbox a safe distance from the house.
Can anyone think of a safe meeting place near their home?
Allow several participants to respond.
If you have a cell phone with you, call 9-1-1 from the safe meeting place. If you do not have a cell phone, you can call 9-1-1 from a neighbor’s house.
Close by asking participants if they have any questions.
SEEDS Educational Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides curriculum to meet the learning needs of people with developmental disabilities. SEEDS can provide more detailed information on ways to reach people with intellectual disabilities with fire safety information.