A fire can double in size each minute. That's why having a home fire escape plan is one of the most important things you can do with your family. By working on a home escape plan together, you and your family will know the safest way out of your home in the event of a fire.

Below are some tips to help you make a home escape plan.

Plan a route

To ensure your family has an escape route in an emergency situation, plan two ways out of each room by:

  • Identifying your primary (first way out) and secondary (second way out) exits (the first way out should be using a normal way out such as the front or back door, and the second way out could be a window)
  • Making sure windows can be opened easily
  • Planning your escape in a two-storey home through a window onto a roof or porch
  • Ensuring everyone knows how to use an escape ladder, if you must use one for your escape plan
  • Practice your plan twice a year

If you see smoke around your primary escape route, use your secondary exit. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go beneath the smoke.

Choose a meeting place outside the home
During an emergency, make sure all family members know where to meet outside the home and mark it on your home escape plan.  A good meeting place would be a tree, telephone pole or a neighbour's home.
Apartment escape planning

If you live in an apartment, remember the following tips for exiting your building during a fire or emergency:

  • Always use the stairs, never use an elevator in case of a fire
  • Do not use elevators even if they appear to be working (when the alarm sounds, elevators may be grounded and in control of the responding firefighters)
  • If fire or smoke blocks your exit, protect yourself and your family in place by:
    • Closing your apartment door, but do not lock it
    • Covering all cracks where smoke could enter using wet towels or tape
    • Calling 9-1-1 even if firefighters are already onsite and telling them the number of your apartment
    • Waving a sheet or towel from the window to help firefighters locate you
    • Trying to stay calm and listening for instructions from fire personnel



Create your Own Escape PlanCreate your Own Escape Plan - Grid Paper


Travelling during March Break and staying in a hotel? We have some fire safety tips for you.  Thank you Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre for your assistance!