Escape Plan

Once you find out that thereís a fire in your home, you must get out immediately. Have an escape plan. Draw up a plan of your house and mark escape routes from everywhere in the house. Determine a primary and an alternative escape route from each room. Decide on a place where everyone is to meet as soon as theyíre out of the house. This could be a tree, a street light, or a neighborís front door. Make sure the meeting place is a safe distance from the house. Practice your escape plan regularly. Have someone sound the alarm, then rehearse what you would do and where you would escape to in case of a fire.

Review the plan frequently with all family members. Ask your local fire department for more information about fire prevention.

Tell your children if thereís a fire they must not hide in a closet or under the bed. If theyíre hiding itís much harder for a fire fighter to find them when searching the house. Explain to them that if they see a fire fighter during a fire he will be wearing a mask and will look scary; explain that they should run to him and not away from him. Also tell them that when thereís a fire, itís okay to break a window to call for help.

If there is a fire in your home, this is the proper response:

If you canít get out of the house because of heat or smoke and youíre on an upper floor, close the door of the room youíre in. Plug any cracks under the door with bedding to prevent smoke from entering. Open a window and scream for help to get someoneís attention. Donít jump out of the window unless there is no other choice.

I answered a call to a fire that had started in a house trailer in the middle of the night. Both adults had died of smoke inhalation in the bedroom. Two children were found burned beyond recognition at the back door. The back door had been locked - and the lock was out of reach of the children.

This information was taken from the book, ďI Wonít be in to Work Today - Preventing Injuries at Home, Work and PlayĒ by Martin Lesperance. To order this book or to find out more information, go to and click on books and products. Sign up for his free safety newsletter at Martin speaks across North America on the topic of injury prevention.

Copyright 1997 SafetyHealth Publishing Inc.

Martin Lesperance is a fire fighter/paramedic and is the author of the best selling book "I Wonít be in to Work Today Ė Preventing Injuries at Home, Work and Play" Martin delivers keynote presentations dealing with injury prevention. His talks are funny, but still have a strong underlying message. Visit his website at