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Make a Fire Escape Plan

Making a fire escape plan and practicing monthly helps keep your family safe. Let us help you create a fire escape plan with a few helpful tips.

create a fire escape plan

A Plan Means Protection

When a fire breaks out at home, time is of the essence.  A small flame can get out of control in less than 30-seconds.  Within just a few minutes, thick black smoke can consume a space, making it impossible to navigate.  This is why a practiced escape plan is essential for protecting your home and family.

  • Create a map of your home that includes all windows and doors.  With the help of your family, mark a first and second option for escape in each room.  This keeps kids involved, engaged and aware of the exit strategy.
  • In homes with infants, persons requiring special assistance or family pets, identify a primary and secondary family member to assist in their exit. 
  • Designate a family meeting place outside of the home, as well as a primary and secondary family member to dial 911.  Family members are not to return to the home, under any circumstance, once they reach the meeting place. If someone is missing, notify the firefighters – they are equipped to perform rescue safely. 
  • Now, practice!  Run through a couple of scenarios with your family so everyone becomes familiar and comfortable with using the fire escape plan. Fire officials recommend practicing monthly.

Things to Remember

Remember this helpful advice from fire officials for a safe and speedy exit from your home in the event of emergency.

  • Before exiting through a door, feel it for heat at the top, doorknob and crack. If it’s hot, use your secondary escape route.  If not, open with caution by bracing your shoulder against the door.  If heat or smoke roll in, slam it shut and leave another way.
  • If you must escape through smoke, cover your nose and mouth and stay low to the ground.  Toxic gas disorients and overcomes people in a fire.
  • Teach children not to hide from a firefighter who may enter the home.  Often, children hide under the bed.  Help them understand that firefighters are there to help them.
  • Don’t waste time gathering belongings.  Things are replaceable . . . people are not.

Fire Prevention

Fire prevention is essential for creating a safe home.

  • Store lighters and matches out of reach of young children. 
  • Buy at least one fire extinguisher per floor and place them near fire prone areas, like the kitchen, basement or garage.
  • Make sure that every level of your home has at least one working smoke detector. 
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke detector at least once a year – immediately if your detector starts chirping.
  • Make sure all of your windows and screens open easily.
  • Buy and store fire escape ladders next to windows for easy access in the event of fire.