Plan & Practice Your Escape

Make it Stop! Advice for dealing with nuisance alarms

Plan & 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. It is critical that you have a fire escape plan in place.

So while working smoke alarms will alert you to a fire in your home, to escape safely everyone must know what to do when the alarm sounds. The following exercise will help you and your family develop a plan that will allow everyone to 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 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.

Draw 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.

Hand drawing of home escape plan

(Home fire escape planning information and grid PDF version available on request at AskOFM)