Escape planning for home

National Fire Protection Association

Plan ahead! If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds.

Safety tips

. Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.

. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.

. Have an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.

. Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.

. Practice using different ways out.

. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.

If the alarm sounds …

. If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Never go back inside for people or pets.

. If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.

. Call the fire department from outside your home.


. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms inside every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.

. According to an NFPA survey, one out of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

. While 71 per cent of Americans have an escape plan in case of fire, only 47 per cent of those have practiced it.

. One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only eight per cent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.

About the NFPA

For more information, please go to the NFPA webstie at

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