Plan Your Escape Today
Sit down with your family or household members today and make a step-by-step plan for escaping a fire.
1 and 2-story Homes
- Draw a floor-plan of your home and add windows and doors. Mark two ways out of every room. You can use this helpful checklist to guide you in developing two escape routes for every room in the house.
- If you live in a two-story home and you must escape through a second-story window, be sure there is a safe way to reach the ground.
- Discuss the escape routes with every member of your household.
- Agree on a meeting place outside your home where every member of the household will gather after escaping a fire to wait for the fire department. This allows you to count heads and inform the fire department if anyone is missing.
- Make sure everyone in the household can unlock all doors and windows quickly, even in the dark.
- Windows and doors with security bars need to be equipped with quick-release devices and every household member needs to know how to use them.
Fire Drill: practice your escape plan at least twice a year
A fire drill is not a race, but you should practice your fire escape plan quickly and safely.
Make your fire drill realistic. Here are seven steps to practicing your escape.
Practice for the “What-ifs”
- Pretend that some of the exits are blocked by fire and practice using alternative escape routes.
- Pretend that the lights are out and that some escape routes are filling with smoke.
Apartment & High-rise Buildings
- If you live in an apartment building, use the stairways to escape. Never use the elevator during a fire.
- Some high-rise buildings may have evacuation plans that require you to stay where you are and wait for the fire department.
- Be sure everyone in your household knows the escape plan for your building.
Children and People with Mobility Issues
Make special arrangements for children, older adults, and people with disabilities. Household members who have difficulty moving should have a phone in their sleeping area and, if possible, should sleep on the ground level. Also see Fire Evacuation Tips for People with Disabilities.