Home Evacuation Drills

 Have an Exit Plan!
Develop a fire escape plan and conduct evacuation drills regularly (at least every 6 months). When fire detection warning devices activate, there are less than four minutes to escape.

Planning Your Evacuation:

  1. Prepare carefully, perform regular drills, and place fire detection warning devices in appropriate places. 
  2. Make a drawing or floor plan of the home showing possible exits (two for every room).
  3. If a window is high above the ground, you may need to buy a special fire escape ladder.  
  4. Make sure windows can open (not painted or nailed shut). 
  5. Develop methods of alerting family members:  smoke alarms, whistling, shouting and pounding on the walls.  
  6. Take special precautions for children and others who require assistance. 
  7. Sleep with bedroom doors closed. This will keep out deadly smoke, heat, and gases and also increase available escape time. 
  8. Designate a safe meeting area after exiting the structure.  
  9. DO NOT go back into a burning dwelling! 
  10. Use a neighbor’s phone to call the fire department.  Know the phone number! 
  11. Exit drills should include primary escape routes and meetings in the designated safe area.  

Special Plans – Children, Elderly, and the Disabled


  1. Practice drills with adults. 
  2. Emphasize the danger of trying to hide from a fire.
  3. Stress to children the importance of getting out fast and staying out.
  4. Teach children to get out by themselves if possible. 
  5. Teach children how to use the phone and call emergency services. 
  6. Have infants/young children sleep in rooms next to parents or older siblings. 
  7. Teach children to “stop, drop and roll” and to cover face with hands if clothing catches fire. 


  1. Arrange appropriate sleeping arrangements.
  2. If possible, have their rooms on the ground floor. 
  3. Install a smoke detector and telephone in or near their room. 


  1. Learn visual signaling systems for the hearing impaired. 
  2. Develop a whistling or shouting system for the visually impaired. 
  3. Have mentally impaired individuals sleep near someone who can assist them.  
  4. Design a special escape route for those who are physically handicapped.
  5. Frequently review exit plans