In the interest of community safety, the Escondido Fire Department does NOT recommend that "child" or "invalid" locator decals be placed on home windows for a variety of reasons.
- First, the average family moves often—on average about once every five years. Each time a house changes hands, room use can also change. Even a single family will switch rooms with time, making the decal meaningless.
- Even within a short time period, children sleep in rooms other than their own, leave their room when frightened, or spend the night away and, therefore, will often not be in the room marked with a decal.
- Most importantly, a decal can also be an invitation to a burglar—or worse—to enter through that window because the occupant of that room would present less of a threat.
Keep in mind that rescuing people is a priority for all firefighters. They are trained to make a thorough and systematic search for anyone inside a burning building as soon as they arrive. Spending valuable time looking for windows marked with decals, with no assurance anyone would be in that room, could delay help to anyone still left inside.
Firefighters could also be subject to additional risks in entering a building at a marked window rather than following standard search and rescue procedures.
The most effective way to protect yourself and your family in the event of a fire in your house is to:
- Be sure your smoke detectors are working properly.
- Prepare and practice a family fire escape plan.
- Consider installing residential fire sprinklers or making certain your next home has them already installed; they're like having your own firefighter on duty in your home 24 hours every day!
Of course, preventing a fire from occurring in the first place is the best way to save lives. For more information, see Preventing Fire at Home to find a checklist which will help you eliminate fire and burn hazards in your home.