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Fire Prevention Month

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.  
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