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Plan, Practice, Be Prepared with a Home Fire Escape Plan
Home fires are burning hotter and faster, leaving as little as two minutes for people to escape. Having a plan and practicing it often can make a lifesaving difference.
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of the home, including the basement, outside of sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sounds of the alarm and what it means if they hear three beeps.
- Walk through the home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Make sure all doors and windows that lead to the outside open easily.
- Make sure street numbers outside your home can easily be seen, both day and night.
- Create a routine of ensuring escape routes are clear of tripping hazards or potential obstacles before going to sleep each night.
- Sleeping with the door closed slows the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Involve all members of the home.
- Draw a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows.
- When possible, identify two ways out of every room and two ways out of your home.
- Teach children to escape on their own in case an adult cannot get to them. Make sure they can open windows, remove screens, and unlock doors.
- Plan for everyone in the home, including those who are unable to exit on their own, including babies, older adults, and individuals with disabilities.
- Identify an outside meeting place in the front of the home at a safe distance, something permanent such as a tree or mailbox. Make sure everyone knows where the meeting place is and to go there if they hear the smoke alarm.
- Ensure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1 from a mobile phone or trusted neighbor's phone and that they know the address of the home.
- Push the smoke alarm to start the drill.
- Encourage everyone to get low under smoke and get out as quickly as possible.
- Try to get everyone out of the home in two minutes or less. Consider having a timer available to see how long it takes to escape.
- Practice using different ways out.
- Remind everyone to close doors behind them as they leave.
- Go to the outside meeting place.
- In the event of an actual fire, remember to get out quickly and stay out. Never go back inside for people, pets, or things.