Escape plans


Smoke and fire spread fast. Every second counts when you are trying to escape a fire which is why it's important to develop and practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in your household so you are prepared if there is a fire. Everyone must know what to do and where to go if the smoke alarms sound. Create a home fire escape plan so you and your family are prepared by following the instructions below:

Draw a floor plan of your home: 
  • Use this grid to draw a floor plan of your home.
  • You should draw a plan for each storey of your home.
Include all possible emergency exits:
  • Draw in all the doors, windows and stairways. This will show you and your family all possible escape routes at a glance.
  • Include any features such as the roof of a garage or porch that would help in your escape.
 Show two ways out of every room, if possible: 
  • The door will be the main exit from each room. However, if the door is blocked by smoke or fire, identify an alternate escape route, which could be a window. Make sure that all windows can open easily and that everyone knows how to escape through them to safety. If windows have security bars, equip them with quick-releasing devices.
 Does anyone need help to escape:
  • Decide in advance who will assist diverse groups: children, older adults, people with disabilities or pets in your household.
  • A few minutes of planning will save valuable seconds in a real emergency.
 Choose a meeting place outside: 
  • Choose a meeting place a safe distance from your home that everyone will remember. A tree, street light or a neighbour's home are all good choices. In case of a fire, everyone will go directly to this meeting place so they can be accounted for.
 Call the fire department from outside your home: 
  • Don't waste valuable seconds calling the fire department form inside your home. Once you have safely escaped, call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbour's home.
 Practice your escape: 
  • Review the plan with everyone in your household. Walk through the escape routes for each room with the entire family. Use the walk-through exercise to check your escape routes making sure all exists are practical and easy to use.
  • Hold a fire drill twice a year and time how long it takes.
  • In a real fire, you must react without hesitation as your escape routes may be quickly blocked by smoke or flames.
 It's important to remember: 
  • Plan two ways out of every room, if possible
  • Hold a fire drill twice a year
  • Install smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas

If you live in a high-rise apartment building, contact the building management for information on what to do if there is a fire in your building.

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