Have a Home Escape Plan
Know Two Ways Out
Choose a Meeting Place
Get Out Fast
If a dwelling has more than one level above ground, we recommend the use of a portable escape ladder in an emergency evacuation. If a portable ladder is not available, hang a pillowcase, sheet, or shirt out of the window to flag the rescuers. Do not jump unless there is immediate danger of being burned or overcome by smoke, and no rescuer is in sight. Make special arrangements for small children and people with disabilities.
Do Not Go Back Inside
Practice the Plan
Appoint someone to sound the alarm and time the drill, making sure everyone uses the second escape route and gets low, and goes.
Most fatal fires occur at night when everyone is asleep, so everyone should start the drill in his/her bedroom. When you are asleep, your sense of smell is asleep, too. Close the door and wait for the monitor to sound the alarm.
Practice crawling fast and staying low to escape smoke. Smoke rises while clean air stays low near the floor, so get down on your knees and crawl, maintaining contact with the walls while heading to the nearest exit.
Test the door using the back of your hands. In a real fire, if hot, take your second way out. If the second exit is not an option, brace a shoulder against the door and open it carefully, being ready to close it quickly if heat or smoke rush in. But remember when you are on the ground to kick the door closed with a foot, if you need to.
Get out fast and go to the meeting place, where the monitor will then take a head count and review the drill, discussing any problems with escape routes.