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.
- Prepare carefully, perform regular drills, and place fire detection warning devices in appropriate places.
- Make a drawing or floor plan of the home showing possible exits (two for every room).
- If a window is high above the ground, you may need to buy a special fire escape ladder.
- Make sure windows can open (not painted or nailed shut).
- Develop methods of alerting family members: smoke alarms, whistling, shouting and pounding on the walls.
- Take special precautions for children and others who require assistance.
- Sleep with bedroom doors closed. This will keep out deadly smoke, heat, and gases and also increase available escape time.
- Designate a safe meeting area after exiting the structure.
- DO NOT go back into a burning dwelling!
- Use a neighbor’s phone to call the fire department. Know the phone number!
- Exit drills should include primary escape routes and meetings in the designated safe area.
Special Plans – Children, Elderly, and the Disabled
- Practice drills with adults.
- Emphasize the danger of trying to hide from a fire.
- Stress to children the importance of getting out fast and staying out.
- Teach children to get out by themselves if possible.
- Teach children how to use the phone and call emergency services.
- Have infants/young children sleep in rooms next to parents or older siblings.
- Teach children to “stop, drop and roll” and to cover face with hands if clothing catches fire.
- Arrange appropriate sleeping arrangements.
- If possible, have their rooms on the ground floor.
- Install a smoke detector and telephone in or near their room.
- Learn visual signaling systems for the hearing impaired.
- Develop a whistling or shouting system for the visually impaired.
- Have mentally impaired individuals sleep near someone who can assist them.
- Design a special escape route for those who are physically handicapped.
- Frequently review exit plans