Plan and Practice your Escape

Working smoke alarms will alert you to a fire in your home but to safely escape, everyone must know what to do when the alarm sounds. In a fire, every second counts, so it is critical that you have a fire escape plan in place. The following exercise will assist you and your family to develop a plan that will help to ensure everyone can safely escape.

Walk through each room of your home with everyone in the family. Look at all the possible exits and discuss how each one can be used in a fire emergency. For example, windows are only a practical alternative if they can be easily opened and safely exited.

Discuss the actions each person will take when the smoke alarm sounds. Consider who will be responsible for young children or other persons who may require assistance.

Young children should understand that they must never hide if there is a fire. They should be told they must yell loudly so adults know where they are, or go to a parent’s or caregiver’s room, if it is nearby and safe to do so.

Establish a meeting place outside the home where everyone in the household can assemble. This will help to prevent undue concern and confusion. Once outside, stay outside. Never re-enter a burning building.

When you have safely exited the building, call the fire department from a neighbour’s home or cell phone.

Hand drawing of home escape planConsider drawing a floor plan of your home, identifying all rooms on each floor. Mark all exits that could be used to evacuate in a fire emergency. Don’t forget to identify a safe location outside as a meeting place where everyone can assemble.