Home Fire Escape Planning

Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

  • Pull together everyone in your household and make a Fire Escape Plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.
  • Mark the location of each smoke alarm.
  • Have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Check that the escape routes are clear.
  • Check that doors and windows can be opened easily.
  • Choose an outside meeting place (a neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
  • Be sure your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that emergency personnel can find your home.
  • If there are infants, older adults or family members with mobility limitations make sure someone is assigned to assist them. Assign a backup person too.
  • If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have quick-release mechanisms inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Quick-release mechanisms won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
  • Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan.
  • Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately.
  • Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

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More information available at Ready.gov and Texas Department of Insurance.