House and apartment fires are responsible for many deaths. There are many steps that can be taken to safeguard the dwelling in which you reside, such as adding smoke detectors and checking batteries regularly as well as having fire extinguishers and/or a sprinkler system. While having fire protection systems in place is important, it is hard to convince a landlord to make the necessary improvements to keep you and your family as safe as possible. Because of this, the act of protecting your family falls upon you.
Fire safety needs to be taken seriously and practiced regularly. Regardless of whether you own or rent, fire can strike at any time. If you do not have a plan in place to get out quickly and safely, now is the time to think about that. Start by having a floor plan of your home available for everyone in your family to look at as a means to familiarize themselves with exits and escape routes. Even though you live and move about in a house every day, do not assume that you will think clearly about what window is where as your house fills with smoke; becoming disoriented is very much a possibility. Mark your floor plan with potential exits, making the safest places of exit the biggest priority. Also indicate where fire safety items are placed, such as fire extinguishers and escape ladders. Be sure each family member has a copy of this and keep one in an available in a central location in the home. Conduct a walk through as well, pointing out locations and going through the motions of escape.
Teach children how to use fire extinguishers and ladders should they need to use them. Explain to them the purpose of such items and how they work to save lives. Be sure they know how to open windows as well. Show them how to low crawl as well as how to stop, drop, and roll. Practice having fire drills, both during the daylight hours and at night since no time of day is immune. During these drills, reinforce the need to have a rendezvous point for when everyone is outside so a headcount can be completed to assure everyone is safe. When the drill is over, replace all fire safety items in their usual locations so they will be ready for use if the need arises.
Being able to survive a fire is just as important as the other TEOTWAWKI events for which you may be preparing. Fires can be started in many ways, from faulty wiring to menacing people with evil intent. Since you never know what may fall at your feet, preparing yourself and your family for anything is essential. When the SHTF and your family must find ways to survive on their own, you will be glad to have given them the knowledge they need to do just that.