Fire Escape Plan

Every second counts during a fire. Make sure you and your family are prepared.

Have Two Ways Out

Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.

Practice Your Escape Plan

Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities. It's also a good idea to practice your plan with overnight guests. Some tips to consider when preparing your escape plan include:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows.
  • Find two ways to get out of each room.
  • Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
  • Have a designated meeting place in front of your home where everyone will go after escaping from the residence.
  • Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.

Early warning of smoke or fire in your home gives you and your family the greatest chance of surviving a fire in your home. Make sure you have working smoke detectors to give you early warning of a fire in your home.

Fire Escape Plan resources are available from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.