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Royal Oak Michigan Fire Fighters Pioneer Education System

Two Fire Fighters from Royal Oak Michigan, Dan Phillips and Cary Thompson, have launched a national campaign of Fire Safety education.

Fire departments nationwide are failing at teaching escape planning. Only 23% of households practice a fire escape plan. Dan and Cary are using a system called "Escape and Wait" which makes escape planning as easy to remember as Stop Drop and Roll.

The "Escape and Wait" system uses a catchy song and reflective signs to help children remember their job during a house fire. Instead of kids remembering a long list of what not to do (don't hide, don't look for pets, don't go back in, etc...) it tells kids what they should do, "Escape and Wait". "The song is a lot of fun, but the sign is what really makes a difference" says Fire Fighter Phillips. The sign is mounted at the families meeting place. It identifies where everyone should meet and wait for the fire department. It contains clear instructions on what to do during a house fire.

1. Escape from the hazard

2. Don't go back in

3. Wait here for the Fire Department

4. Have a neighbor call 911

A meeting place is an important part of an escape plan. The whole family needs to know where to go in case of fire. At the meeting place the family performs a head count making sure everyone is out. It's also where they meet the Fire Department, informing them of anyone trapped inside.

"When a family places the "Escape and Wait" sign at their meeting place they take a big step towards having an escape plan that works," according to Fire Fighter Phillips. "During the stress of a house fire it becomes difficult for anyone to remember what to do. If you have a sign outside and have practiced your escape plan it is much easier to act quickly." Children to young to read can understand the need to "Escape" to the blue sign and "Wait" for everyone else.

Escape and wait LLC was founded by Firefighters Dan Phillips and Cary Thompson in 2007. Fire Fighter Cary Thompson was named State of Michigan Public Fire Educator of the Year 2007 by the Michigan Fire Inspector Society. Dan and Cary have taught children at the fire station, in the local schools, and as instructors at Safety City USA.

After teaching thousands of children using these unique tools Dan and Cary decided it was time to share their ideas. Escape and Wait LLC was formed and mass production began on their signature product, The "Escape and Wait" sign. Dan and Cary strongly believe in the value of "Escape and Wait" being in every home.

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