Plan Your Home Fire Escape
When do most home fires start?
Between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m., just when you are asleep
- and least prepared!
Where do most home fires start?
In this order: a) living room, b) kitchen, c) basement, d) bedrooms,
e) all others. This means that most fires start just where they
are likely to block your usual escape (from bedrooms).
Fire Escape Planning
Draw a floor plan of your ground or upper floor bedrooms - with
two escape routes from each room:
Step 1 (Basic Floor Layout):
- Make an outline of your entire floor area; dimensions and
details need not be exact.
- Now add each bedroom and label it.
- Locate windows, doors and stairways. If an upper floor, shade
in any rooftops that could be used as a fire escape.
Step 2 (Room Inspection):
- Go to each bedroom and select the best window for an emergency
- Test the windows or screens to see that they work easily and
are large and low enough to use.
Step 3 (Complete "Escape Plan:):
- Black arrows show normal exit through hall or stairway.
- Outline arrows show emergency exit in case fire blocks hallway
Gather your family together for a short explanation of the vital
nighttime fire escape procedures.
Always sleep with the bedroom or hall door closed. It can keep
out fire long enough to allow escape through your emergency escape
route (usually a window).
Make certain that a smoke detector is installed and operating
properly in the hallway outside bedrooms. Fire safety officials
are now recommending the placement of smoke detectors inside bedrooms
where the door is kept closed at night. This is to protect against
the advent of fire starting inside the bedroom.
Don't waste time getting dressed or gathering valuables. Precious
seconds can count in a fire.
Test the door before opening. Intense heat and deadly smoke can
be on the other side.
Have an outside meeting place to quickly check if everyone is
safe. Once out - STAY OUT!
Plan to use a neighbor's phone to dial 9-1-1.
Conducting Your Fire Escape Drill
- Everyone is in his/her bedroom (doors closed).
- Test your smoke detector to sound the alarm.
- Everyone swings into action - out of bed, to the door.
- Carefully test door before opening.
- First Drill: Escape through normal exit (hall or stairway).
- Second Drill: Imagine doors are hot and the hall is
blocked by fire. Now everyone must test their emergency escape
exit. Depending on age and capability, you need not actually go
out on the roof, but be sure everyone can open windows and screens
easily. Position an emergency escape ladder quickly, etc.