Having a sound escape plan will greatly reduce fire injuries and protect your family's safety in the event of a fire. Time is the biggest enemy in the event of a fire. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. Practice escaping from every room in the house, and have two ways to get out of each room. Check windows, screens, and security bars for ease of use in case of an emergency.
Immediately Leave the Home - When a fire occurs, do not waste time saving property. Take the safest exit route. If you must escape through smoke, crawl low, under the smoke and keep your mouth covered. Smoke contains toxic gases that can disorient or overcome you.
Never Open Doors that are Hot to the Touch - When you come to a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the doorknob, and the crack between the door and the frame to make sure fire is not on the other side. If it feels hot, use a secondary escape route. Open doors carefully, using your shoulder as a brace. If heat and smoke come in, slam the door, making sure it is securely closed and use a secondary escape route.
Designate a Meeting Place and Take Attendance - Designate a meeting location away from the home, such as under a specific tree, or at the end of the driveway. Make sure everyone has gotten out safely. Designate one person to go to a neighbor's home to contact the Fire Department.
Once Out, Stay Out - Escape first, then notify the Fire Department using 911. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Teach children not to hide from firefighters. If someone is missing, tell firefighters. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.