(A printable copy of this information is available here: Fire Escape Plan)


  • Approximately 3,500 people are killed and more than 17,000 are injured in fires across the country every year.
  • Don’t become a statistic! Plan ahead so you know what to do.
  • There are two very important measures that you can take to protect yourself and the ones you love.
  • 1) Install and maintain smoke detectors on every level of your home.
  • 2) Have and following a carefully thought-out and practiced escape plan.


  • Bring all the people in your household together and write out your plan. Drawing a floor plan of your home and marking two exits from each room can prove to be a helpful aid, especially for children
  • Make sure all your members of your household understand the escape plan. Be sure to assign someone to assist infants or anyone with mobility challenges
  • Choose an outside meeting place away from the home where all family members can meet after they have escaped. Examples of meeting places would be the mailbox, a neighbor’s house, a street sign, etc. It is a good idea to share this meeting place with your neighbors as well.
  • Walk through your home and make sure all escape routes are easily accessible and that doors and windows open easily. Never block an exit with furniture!
  • Make sure your street number is visible from the street. You want emergency personnel to be able to find your home quickly.


  • Practicing your fire escape plan will help your family further familiarize themselves with the plan. If you did experience a fire, there would be less chance of panic and a greater chance that everyone will get out safely.
  • Put your plan to the test by holding a family fire drill at least twice a year. It is important to practice in both warm and cold weather.
  • It is a good idea to start your drill at night as that is when most fires occur. Also, because fire is very dark it is good to practice at night time.
  • During the drill, make certain that everyone, especially children, are awakened by the smoke detector. If someone is not easily awakened, assign another family member to wake them up.
  • While performing your drill, everyone should practice crawling on their hands and knees. In a real fire situation, smoke and toxic fumes rise so the cleaner air is near the floor. By crawling low, you’ll be able to breathe.
  • If your home has more than one floor, it is important that all your family members have a way to escape from the higher levels. If necessary, place escape ladders in or near windows, in an easily accessible area. Practice using the ladder from a first floor window so that all family members will be prepared to use it in the event of a fire.