Fire Escape Planning

Every home should have a fire escape plan. Escaping from a home fire depends not only on your smoke alarms but on the plan you and your family have developed and practiced in advance. 

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) offers dozens of consumer-friendly fact sheets on a wide range of timely and important topics - everything you need to know to keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe from fire and related hazards.

The time for a safe escape can be limited to as little as 1-2 minutes after you hear the smoke alarm. Fires can spread quickly through homes trapping residents. Everyone in the family needs to come together and make a plan, including knowing all exits and escape routes, locations of smoke alarms, and a family meeting place outside of the home.

You can download an escape planning grid from NFPA’s website to help draw out an escape plan which is an especially good way to help children visualize the concept in a non-threatening way.

In addition, the following tips and tools from NFPA can simplify your planning:

  • Basic fire escape planning - Tips for creating and practicing a home fire escape plan and making sure your escape routes are clear.
  • Security bars - Sometimes a device that prevents one hazard creates another.
  • Hoarding and fire safety - Collecting and storing large amounts of items in your home can pose a safety hazard for first responders and residents.
  • Seasonal - Learn how to keep your family safe from a variety of hazards that occur during the holidays.
  • High occupancy planning - Know where your closest exits are and other tips for hotels, dorms and nightclub safety.
Additional topics that can help you plan ahead are: