Home Fire Escape Drills

The Home Fire Escape Drill is designed to help families practice two escape routes out of the house if a fire should occur. Planning and practicing two escape routes--one normal route through hallways and stairways; and an alternative route through windows or onto the roof--will help save the lives of you and your family. The alternative escape route is vital because most fires start in areas of the house that will likely block the usual hallway and stairway.

Please join the State Fire Marshal's office and your local fire department in helping save lives by completing the Home Fire Escape Drill. REMEMBER - Once outside, never re-enter the house and call the fire department from a neighbor's house.

  • Diagram your home on a piece of paper (graph paper works well), draw a diagram of each floor in your home. Have the family help so all members can become acquainted with the escape plan.
  • Identify each room and label them.
  • Locate windows, doors, hallways and stairways.
  • Draw black arrows to show the normal escape route through hallways and stairways.
  • Draw red arrows to mark an alternative escape route in case fire blocks exits through hallways and stairways. Identify windows that will be used to escape and exits to the roof.
  • Identify a meeting place for family members outside of the house.
  • Practice Your Plan
  • Practice the Home Fire Escape Drill twice, once using the normal exits and then using the alternative route.
  • Close all of the bedroom doors.
  • Set off the smoke detector by pushing the test button.
  • Family members should sound their own alarm at the first sign of fire. Yelling or pounding on walls are examples.
  • Always test the doors for heat before opening. Sweep your hand over the upper portion of the door to feel for heat. If the door is hot or warm, do not open it. Instead, use your alternative route. If the door does not fell hot to the touch, open the door a crack to see if there is smoke. If there is no smoke, exit the house. If you find heavy smoke, close the door and use your alternative escape route.
  • Go to the designated meeting place outside.