Building Evacuation Plans

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely. Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning-a home fire escape plan that everyone in your family is familiar with and has practiced.

Emergency Preparedness

The key elements of emergency preparedness are early warning (typically through an alarm or voice communication system), adequate means of egress (exit routes), and occupant familiarity with the plan through knowledge and practice. By following the suggestions and guidelines below, you can help ensure your family has the best chance for a safe escape in the event of a fire.
  1. The People
  2. The Process
  3. Making Things Easy
  4. Practice Makes Perfect
  5. Apartments
  6. Defending in Place

The People

Involve everyone in your household in the planning process. Be mindful of young children, elderly and individuals with disabilities. If there are infants, older adults or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.

Escape Plan

Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. For easy planning, download this escape plan grid (PDF). This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.

Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people's homes, ask about their escape plan. If they don't have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend "sleepovers" at friends' homes.