If a fire occurred in your home tonight, would your family get out safely? Everyone must know what to do and where to go when the smoke alarm sounds. We encourage you to take a few minutes with everyone in your household to make a home fire escape plan, following the instructions below.
Draw a floor plan of your home
Draw a plan for each level of your home, showing two ways out of every room, if possible.
Include all possible emergency exits
Draw in all the doors, windows and stairways. This will show all possible escape routes at a glance. Include any features, such as the roof of a garage or porch that would help in your escape.
Show two ways out of every room, if possible.
The door will be the main exit from each room; however if the door is blocked by smoke or fire, identify an alternate escape route, which could be a window. Make sure all windows open easily and everyone knows how to escape through the windows to safety. Windows with security bars should have quick-releasing devices.
Does anyone need help to escape?
Decide in advance who will assist the very young, older adults or people with disabilities in your household. A few minutes of planning will save valuable seconds in a real emergency.
Choose a meeting place outside
Choose a meeting place which is a safe distance from your home and one that everyone will remember. A tree, street light or a neighbour’s home are all good choices. In case of fire, everyone will go directly to this meeting place where they can be accounted for.
Call the fire department from outside your home
Don’t waste valuable seconds calling 911 from inside your home. Once you have safely escaped, call 911 from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.
Practice your escape
Review the plan with everyone in your household. Walk through the escape routes for each room with the entire family. Use this walk-through exercise to check your escape routes, making sure all exits are practical and easy to use. Then hold a fire drill twice a year and time how long it takes. In a real fire, you must react without hesitation as your escape routes may be quickly blocked by smoke or flames.
If you live in a high-rise apartment building, contact the building management for information on your building’s fire safety plan