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Home Escape Planning

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Home Escape Planningescapeplan2_2

With modern home design and construction materials, a home fire can spread quickly, leaving occupants as little as 2-3 minutes to escape. The Schaumburg Fire Department encourages all families to create and practice a home escape plan so everyone is prepared in case of a fire in the home.

When creating a home escape plan, follow these steps:

  • Draw a map of your home. Label each room and draw all doors and windows. You can draw your map on plain paper or download a checklist and planning sheet.

  • Find the easiest way out of each room and label with an arrow.

  • Find a second way out of each room and label with an arrow in another color. Talk to your family about which windows would be safe exits in case of emergency. If you cannot safely escape from a window, but the door is blocked by fire (feel the door with the back of your hand to see if it is hot), keep the door closed, use blankets or clothes to block smoke from the bottom of the door and wave a white cloth or flashlight at the window so the firefighters can help you down safely.

  • Choose a safe meeting place outside in the front of the home. Make sure it is a safe distance from the house and that firefighters will be able to see you when they arrive.

  • Make sure everyone in the family understands the escape plan, knows where the safe meeting place is and understands to go directly there after exiting the home.

  • Practice your escape plan with the entire family at least twice a year. Have someone press the test button on a smoke alarm and have everyone exit as quickly as possible and meet at the meeting place. Also try practicing the plan in the dark while crawling low like you would if there was smoke in the air. Have someone time the practice drills and see how long it takes for everyone to escape.


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