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Escape Plan

The #2 Factor To Protecting Yourself and Your Family In A Fire:

Have an Escape Plan


Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning. Do you have an escape plan?

In 2014, there were an estimated 367,500 reported home structure fires and 2,745 associated civilian deaths in the United States.

escape plan

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Pull together everyone in your household and make an escape plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.  Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. For easy planning, download NFPA’s escape planning grid (PDF, 1.1 MB). This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.

  • Walk through your home and look for two ways out of every room.
  • Make sure escape routes are clear of debris and doors and windows open easily. Windows with security bars or grills should have an emergency release device.
  • Plan an outside meeting place where everyone will meet once they have escaped. A good meeting place is something permanent, like a tree, light pole, or mailbox a safe distance in front of the home.
  • If there are infants, older adults, family members with mobility limitations or children who do not wake to the sound of the smoke alarm, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the event of an emergency.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Respond quickly – get up and go, remember to know two ways out of every room, get yourself outside quickly, and go to your outside meeting place with your family.

Click here for a downloadable Escape Planning Tips Sheet