Escape Plan TFD - Home | Departments
Plan your home escape

Once a fire has started, it spreads rapidly. You may have only seconds to get out. Normal exits from bedrooms may be blocked by smoke or fire. It is important that everyone knows exactly what to do. You should plan and practice escaping before an emergency strikes.

Identify escape routes

Draw a floor plan of your house. Plan two exits from every room and trace them onto your floor plan. You may need a ladder for second-story windows.

Have a place to meet

Choose a meeting place outside the home. Meet there during your practice drills. The first thing the fire department will want to know upon arrival at a fire scene is whether or not everybody is out of the building. A central meeting place will help you answer that question.

Do not go back into a burning building!

Practice escaping

Practice your home escape plan. Practice allows you to test and perfect your plan before a real emergency. You may not be able to reach your children or others who would need help with exiting! It is important that everybody knows exactly what to do during an emergency.

Smoke detectors

A smoke detector is a fire alarm that sounds when it detects smoke, warning you in time to escape. Smoke detectors can be house-current or battery operated. Either kind can do a good job. Make sure that the model you choose has been listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. There should be at least one smoke detector on every floor of the house except attics, unless the attic space is used for sleeping. Additional detectors will significantly increase your chance of survival.

Read the instructions that come with the detector for advice on placement and installation. Smoke detectors should be located near bedrooms, either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on a wall. This enables the detector to sense the smoke as it approaches the sleeping area. Locate your smoke detector away from air outlet vents. Also, locate your smoke detector away from the bathroom door, since steam may set it off. Test your detector monthly, by pushing the test button. If it doesn't work, the battery may need to be replaced. Batteries should be replaced as often as necessary, but at least twice a year. Change them when you change the clocks in the spring and fall.

1. Have a Plan
2. Have a Place to Meet
3. Call 9-1-1

Remember, being prepared could save your life!
© City of Topeka