Codes & Standards
Plan and practice fire escape drills: Window Safety Task Force offers seven tips
Sept. 11, 2019 – Though many of us practice fire drills in the workplace, most deaths and injuries from fire each year are the result of home fires. When it comes to a fire emergency, the Window Safety Task Force in partnership with the National Safety Council reminds everyone that doors and windows are the primary and secondary escape routes.
How prepared are you to escape safely in a fire?
“In the event of fire or other emergencies, you may have little time to escape safely,” said Tammy Franks, National Safety Council Home and Community Program Manager. “It is essential to develop and test an escape plan at least twice a year with everyone in your home, including individuals with special needs and pets.”
Consider these seven safety tips
1. Create a home fire escape plan that includes two exits from every room in your home, through a door and a window.
2. Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at night, as many home fires occur at night.
3. Keep windows closed and locked when not in use for ventilation. Practice opening and closing windows that may be designated as emergency exits.
4. Attempt to open a window first, rather than break the glass, if you must exit through it in an emergency.
5. Open the window to escape or choose another exit route, if your home features windows with impact-resistant glass, like that used in some hurricane-prone areas.
6. Check with local code officials when remodeling your home to understand emergency escape and rescue (egress) building code requirements. Egress windows are those designated by code as large enough for you to escape through or for rescue workers to enter in emergency situations.
7. Consult your local building code official to determine proper placement of window guards or fall prevention devices, if you equip windows in your home with these. Look for devices that comply with ASTM F2090.