How to Create an At-Home Fire Escape Plan

When it comes to home fire protection, smoke alarms and a detailed fire escape plan are the best ways to protect your family. The NFPA conducted a study of home fires reported between 2014-2018. During that period, there was an average of 353,100 home fires per year across the US, causing an average of 2,620 deaths per year. There are ways you can decrease your risk of becoming one of the statistics. Having a fire escape plan in the event of a fire is one of the best ways to make sure your family is safe.

How to Develop a Fire Escape Plan

Have a fire escape plan prepared ahead of time. Walkthrough your home and come up with some exit points. Point out two exits in each room. Whether it is a door or a window, have an alternative way to get out if other exits are blocked. Keep doors unobstructed to prevent loss of precious time. Make sure all windows can open. When a window is painted or nailed shut, it cannot be an exit. You may even want to store ladders and hammers in an accessible place. If you have to exit through a window, but the window won’t budge, a hammer can be helpful. A ladder will help you exit upstairs windows.

Adapting as Needed

Be aware of the people in your house and their needs. If there are children, assign someone to look after them in a fire. Do the same for elderly or handicapped people in your house. They will need assistance evacuating as quickly as possible. Part of a good fire escape plan is to create a spot that you will all meet and gather in the event of a fire to take a headcount. A good example is to meet at the mailbox at the end of the driveway, where it is far enough away from the structure.

Don’t keep the fire escape plan to yourself. Ensure the family is involved in the plans and knows it thoroughly before an emergency occurs. Go over the plan at least once a year with your family to make sure they remember.

When A Fire Occurs

Keep a few other things in mind when a fire occurs other than the arranged fire escape plan and calling 911. Do not try and put the fire out with an extinguisher. Only use extinguishers on small, localized fires. Once you are out, you must stay out. Do not go back in for things, papers, pets, or even people. Let the fire department know there is someone inside. They have the equipment and training for search and rescue, and you do not.

Have you seen the rest of our blog? Valley Valley Fire Protection & Plumbing is full of useful fire sprinkler and plumbing information! Check it out, or give us a call if you need fire sprinklers or plumbing service today.

Check out a few additional resources to start your fire escape planning today.

Related Topics: Fire Protection
By: Matt Clegg
As an executive at Valley Fire Protection, Matt’s desire is to provide the best fire protection and engineering experience for Valley Fire customers. By thinking outside the box, and by educating and equipping clients with the information they need to help them properly protect their buildings, Matt and his team have contributed to a long list of successful projects.


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    This article is so helpful! A fire is something nobody wants to think about, but it’s so critical to have an emergency plan in place! Thank you, Matt!!

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    As a victim of a house fire back in January of 2021, having a fire plan is imperative for the off chance of a fire. I had a frayed wire from an entertainment sofa graze an electrical outlet causing a spark to set my curtains on fire. I was in my kitchen saw it happen and went straight to my garage for my fire extinguisher. Being a former chef i was trained on the proper way to handle one and i quickly put out the fire avoiding further damage to my house but the entire house filled up with smoke. After this event i went to the local hardware store and bought 3 different extinguishers, 2 general purpose one for the main floor and one for the second floor. I also bought one specific for grease fires for my kitchen. If you have never been trained in using a fire extinguisher i recommend reaching out to your local fire department and they can provide training at no cost to you. Not only do you need a plan for that but a fire escape in case the fire gets out of control. Test your batteries in your detectors and replace them according to proper guidelines. These small costs can impact your personal valuables and also your life. Please don’t ever take a fire or the chance of one for granted.

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    Very insightful points in creating a fire escape plan for your family and home! I would never have thought of planning two alternate routes for each room and love the ladder idea!


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