Operation E.D.I.T.H. (Exit
Drills In The Home)
Operation E.D.I.T.H consists of three basic
Step 1: Plan your escape
A. The floor plan
Draw an outline or plan of your house or
apartment. Make a drawing for each floor. Dimensions do not have to be correct.
Now add the rooms and label them. Show
important details: stairs, hallways, roofs that can be used as fire escapes.
Choose a family meeting place and show it on
B. Inspect your
Check each room for the best way to escape.
Test windows and doors - do they open easy
enough? Are they wide enough, or tall enough?
Now would be an excellent time to check you
smoke detectors. Do you have one on each floor, and one in each sleeping area? Have the
batteries been changed recently? Does it work when you press the test button?
No smoke detector?
C. Finish your
- Use two different color pens to show the normal way out, and
the emergency way out.
- Also, mark the location of your meeting place.
Here are some tips
- Be sure that everyone has at least two (2) ways out.
- Escape ladders may be necessary.
- Any security devices should open easily. You may not have time
to find a key.
- Never use the elevator in a fire!
2. Step 2: The family meeting
Discuss your plan and these following points and procedures
with your family.
- Always sleep with bedroom doors closed. This will keep the
deadly heat and smoke out of the bedrooms, giving you the additional time you need to
- Find a way for everyone to sound a family fire alarm. Yelling,
pounding walls, whistles, etc...
- In a fire it is seconds, not minutes, that count. Don't waste
time getting dressed, don't search for pets or valuables. Just get out.
- Roll out of bed. Stay low. One breath of smoke or heated gases
may be enough to kill you.
- Feel all doors before opening them, there may be fire on the
other side. If the door is hot (or even warm with newer, insulated doors) use your second
way out! Never open a hot door! Ever!
- Once outside, go immediately to the family meeting place and stay
there! Wait for the other members of your family to show up. Never re-enter a
burning structure for any reason.
- Call the fire department from a neighbor's house. Tell the
dispatcher if everyone is out or not.
Step 3: The fire drills in the home
- Begin with everyone in his or her bed.
- Sound the alarm. Press the smoke detector test button. Yell FIRE!
Or use some other signal that your family members will recognize.
- Everyone should roll out of bed, crawl on the floor, following
their primary exit path (first way out). At the they will feel for heat.
- First time: Use the
normal exit. Brace your shoulder against the door and open it slowly, always ready to slam
it shut at the sign of heavy smoke or fire.
- Second time: Pretend the
doors are hot. Everyone must use their second way out.
- Gather at your designated meeting place. Have someone pretend
to call the fire department.
- Get together and sit down to talk about what happened during
the drill, what went right and what went wrong. Strengthen the weak things. Change parts
of your plan that do not work.
- Conduct an exit drill at least twice a year. Unless these
skills are known and practiced by every family member you may not have enough time to
escape a fire in your home.