Have a Family Meeting Place

All members of a household should know where to go when there is an emergency. Young children should be given opportunities to practice often.

 A family meeting place should:
  • Be in front of the house so that emergency responders can see you as they are approaching.

  • Be a common, permanent landmark such as a mailbox or a tree.

  • Be a safe distance from the house. Consider the abilities and development level of each family member to ensure everyone is able to make it to the meeting place as safely as possible. For example, small children may not be safe to cross a busy road so the neighbor’s mailbox may be a better option.

NFPA Messaging: Reporting and Emergency
  • Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of each level of the home. Show all doors and windows. Go to each room and point to the two ways out. Practice the plan with everyone in your household, including visitors.

  • Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone will help them.

  • Teach your children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Make sure they can open windows, remove screens, and unlock doors.

  • Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.

  • Practice your home fire escape drill with overnight guests.

  • Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside are open.

  • If a room has a window air conditioner, make sure there is still a second way out of the room


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