In case of a house fire, have an escape plan

Bremerton Police and Fire responded to a house fire in the 1500 block of Perry Avenue at 2:58 a.m. on Thursday morning, Nov. 24.

It’s scary to think about a fire happening at your house, but it’s a good idea to have a fire escape plan just in case.

The experts at PEMCO Insurance say the biggest mistake people make is they assume that everyone in the house knows what to do in case of a house fire.

People should remember the number 2 if you’re thinking about coming up with a fire escape plan.

“You need two escape routes per room and you should practice those escape routes two times per year,” said Derek Wing, the Communications Manager at PEMCO Insurance. “We recommend people do that around the time they change the batteries out of their smoke detectors and that’s usually around daylight saving time. ”

Keep smoke detectors on every level of your house and in every bedroom. If your smoke detectors are 10 years old, then it's time to replace them.

People don't often think about their house number. If there's a fire at your house, you'll want to make sure the number is clear and visible so firefighters can find the house faster.

Numbers should be lit up at night and not hidden by any grass or shrubs.

There are things you can do to help you escape during a house fire. Here's what PEMCO recommends:

  • Sleep with bedroom doors closed. You'll get a few more seconds to escape if the fire is in the hallway.
  • Get down as low as you can and crawl. Smoke rises, so the air near the floor is more breathable.
  • If you live in a high rise or apartment, always take the stairs. Never use an elevator during a fire.

Also, don't be tempted to go back into a burning home fire for anything.

"Nothing in your home is more valuable than your life," said Wing. "It's really really important not to try and go back in there during a fire to try and save anything because the only thing that is truly irreplaceable is a human life."

If you have any bedrooms on the second floor, PEMCO says it's a good idea to install fire ladders that way no one gets hurt jumping to the ground.

Make sure you and your family come up with a place to meet after everyone gets out, then call 9-1-1.

Meeting places can be a mailbox or streetlight.