Fire Prevention

Creating Your Home Fire Escape Plan

Did you know? 77% of families do not have a fire escape plan in place. Be sure to make a plan for your family considering the following:

  • Label all the rooms and identify the doors and windows. Plan 2 escape routes from every room.
  • Provide alternatives for anyone with a disability.
  • Agree on a meeting place where everyone will gather after you have escaped.
  • Be sure to remember the Five Ps of Evacuation: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, and Priceless Items.


  • Draw a floor plan for each floor of your home, including windows and doors. For each room, find two ways out, and label them on your plan. Get started by downloading the worksheet.
  • Designate one adult to help get babies, young children, or family members who need extra help safely. Have a back-up plan in case the primary person is overcome by smoke or is not home.
  • Decide on a safe meeting place for your family. Make sure it is a safe distance away from home.


  • Make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of a fire.
  • Test your smoke alarms twice a year, and make sure your child can recognize the sound.
  • Teach your child to get low and crawl on the ground, where the air is less smoky.
  • Show your child how to use the back of his hand to check doors for heat before opening. Teach them to use a different way out if the door is hot to the touch.
  • If your child needs to use an escape ladder, show him where you keep it, and how to use it.
  • Children can become scared and confused during emergencies, so teach them to never hide from firefighters.
  • Teach children to NEVER go back inside a burning building. Once they are out, stay out!


  • Practice your fire escape plan twice a year. Fires can start anywhere in the home and at any time, so run through the plan at different times of the day or night, and practice different ways out.
  • Use a stopwatch to time how fast everyone can get out and to the specified meeting place. The goal should be under 2 minutes.
  • Practice feeling the door and doorknob with the back of your hand for heat.
  • Explain that if they do catch fire, they need to stop, drop and roll.


Smoke Detector Safety

Presently the California State Building Code requires that smoke alarms be in 1) the hallway outside the bedrooms 2) in each bedroom and 3) on every floor regardless of whether there is a bedroom on that floor.

Smoke Alarm Basics

  • Place one smoke alarm on each level of the house near the stairs, including entrances to the attic or basement if you have one.
  • Install one smoke alarm in each common area, such as a living room or dining room. Avoid placing the alarm near a fireplace, stove or other appliance that typically generates safe amounts of smoke and heat.
  • Place one alarm in each bedroom or in the hallway in front of adjoining bedrooms.
  • Keep your alarms accessible, since you’ll need to test them monthly, and change batteries twice a year.
  • Do not place the alarm near ceiling fans.
  • Never paint your smoke alarms, or place stickers on them.