Every second counts during a fire. Make sure you and your family are prepared.
Have Two Ways Out
Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.
Practice Your Escape Plan
Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities. It's also a good idea to practice your plan with overnight guests. Some tips to consider when preparing your escape plan include:
- Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows.
- Find two ways to get out of each room.
- Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
- Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
- Have a designated meeting place in front of your home where everyone will go after escaping from the residence.
- Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
- Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.
Early warning of smoke or fire in your home gives you and your family the greatest chance of surviving a fire in your home. Make sure you have working smoke detectors to give you early warning of a fire in your home.
Fire Escape Plan resources are available from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.