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Escape Plans

Tot Finder Stickers
Totfinders are stickers that many fire departments request residents to place on windows of their children’s bedrooms. Totfinders can be useful if used properly but too many times they are not used correctly. People do frequently call the fire department requesting Totfinder stickers, but we would encourage our citizens to spend more time planning escape routes with their children and taking other precautions. The Pottsville Fire Department standard operating procedure calls for a search of every room in the home if entrapment status is unknown.

If you feel more comfortable having a totfinder sticker on your child’s room, we do have them available. But rest assured, if your home is involved in a fire, we will perform a thorough search of every room in the home, with or without a totfinder sticker.

Home Escape Plans
Creating a home escape plan is a simple thing to do, the challenging thing is to keep practicing the plan and teaching it to your children. The few minutes you spend with your family practicing your escape plan can save their lives. As each home differs there is no way that we can provide you with an exact escape plan for your home, you will need to develop that on your own with your family. What we can do to help is provide some “tips” to follow when designing your plan. Keep in mind these are only suggestions and you should use them as you feel the need:

  • Keep all bedroom doors closed at night. Keeping bedroom doors closed while sleeping slows the travel of toxic fumes and smoke during a fire.
  • Make sure you have smoke detectors installed and tested monthly.
  • Plan to group in a room that has a roof you can crawl out onto and signal for help.
  • Rooms without a roof should have a drop down window ladder.
  • If you hear your smoke detector going off at night, feel the door and the handle before opening it. If the door or handle is warm, do not open it.

If you are trapped in a room, and cannot escape through a window, you should take the following precautions:

  • Use something to block the bottom opening of the door, like a sheet, or towels, or clothing. This will slow the smoke from entering the room.
  • If there is a window, stay close to the window to signal for help when the fire department arrives.
  • If the smoke starts to enter the room stay low to the floor. The smoke and heat will naturally rise to the highest point. Do not hang from the window opening, the smoke and heat are going to vent through this opening, hanging out the opening prevents proper venting, exposes you to the hazardous gases, and you could potentially fall