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Practice your fire escape plan

In a fire, you and your family have less than 3 minutes to get out safely before the poisonous gases in the smoke overcome you.

To ensure you get out safely, create an escape plan with your parents' help and practice it with all family members at least twice a year (summer and winter.)

Creating your plan Fire escape plan drawing

  1. With your parents, go into every room in your home and identify 2 ways to get out (example: door and window.) Have your parents write these escape routes on a sheet of paper.
  2. Learn where your parents want everyone to meet outside once they have left the house (called the meeting place.) 
  3. Draw a blue print of your family's home, identifying the 2 escape routes from your bedroom and where the meeting place is (see escape plan to the right.)
  4. Remind everyone in your family - parents, sisters and brothers - the following tips to get out a burning building safely:
    • Always sleep with your bedroom door closed so you will not be overcome with smoke.
    • Do not hide or wait for your parents or babysitter if you hear the smoke alarm; get out as quickly as possible.
    • Touch the closed door to see if it is hot; if it is, do NOT open the door. Use your other escape route to get out of the room.
    • If you are in a second or third storey room when a fire occurs, close the door and use the window to escape.
    • Since smoke rises, crawl along the floor as this is where the good air is.
    • Call 9-1-1 from a neighbour's house; NEVER call from inside your home.

Practice your escape plan twice a year

Just like your family tests its smoke alarm twice a year to see if it is working properly, you and your family should practice your escape plan twice a year (summer/winter.) You can make a game out of it by seeing if you can 'escape' faster from your home than you have in previous times. As well, your family should also practice its fire escape plan at night.

Below is a list of ideas you can use to practice your family's plan:

  1. Have everyone in your family go into their bedrooms, shut the door and pretend to sleep.
  2. Wait until your mom or dad pushes the test button on the smoke alarm.
  3. When you and your brothers/sisters hear the alarm, you should get out of bed, go to your bedroom's closed door and touch it:
    • If it is hot, don't open the door.  Instead use your alternate escape route from your room.
    • If it is cool, crouch down and slowly open the door to crawl out of the room. To practice crawling below the smoke, have your parents hold a blanket above your head and have you and your sisters crawl underneath it
  4. Once you leave your home, go to the designated family Meeting Place where everyone should be waiting. Your mom or dad will do a head count to ensure everyone is out.
  5. Do NOT go back into the house to find someone or to get a toy, blanket or other item.
  6. Practice calling 9-1-1 on a toy phone and say your name, what the emergency is, and your home's address and telephone number.

After practicing your fire escape plan, you and your family should practice ‘stop, drop and roll’ so you know what to do if your clothes catch on fire.