Fire Escape Plan

Make a plan with these simple tips to keep your family safe in a home fire.

| October 1, 2012

  • Fire Escape Plan
    Having an escape plan is essential for survival in a house fire.
    Sonya Etchison/Fotolia

  • Fire Escape Plan

When a home fire occurs, you have very little time to get out. A working smoke alarm doubles your chances of survival, yet more than 20 percent of American homes are without them. This means roughly 23 million homes are at risk because of nonworking smoke alarms, and an additional 5 million homes are at risk by not having smoke alarms. Twenty-five years ago, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs teamed up to address this problem by providing vital fire safety information to families. They recommend these tips to make a plan for keeping your family and home safe.

Make a Plan

On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. Installing smoke alarms on every level of the home and developing a plan of escape can give your family precious minutes to get out and get to safety.

  • Draw a floor plan of your home and sketch exit routes out of every room.
  • Make sure you have a fire escape ladder long enough to reach the ground from upstairs rooms.
  • Assign an outside meeting place, so you can quickly locate each other.

Room by Room 

The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most families are asleep.


  • Do not trap electrical cords against walls. Heat can build up, posing a fire hazard.
  • Use only lab-approved electric blankets and warmers. Make sure cords are not worn or coming apart. Do not leave electric blankets switched on all night unless they are marked “suitable for all night use.”
  • Keep bedding, curtains and other combustible items at least three feet away from space heaters.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. By law, mattresses made since then are required to be safer.
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.

Living Room  

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