Drawing a good fire escape plan involves being familiar with the layout of a house or building and all of its available exits. Knowing what equipment is available, such as escape ladders, is necessary to planning safe escape routes.
- Locate all available exits
Begin by taking a tour of the home or building and finding all available exits. This includes windows or doors that lead outdoors. Make a diagram of where each exit is located. The National Fire Protection Association recommends marking two exits for each room.
- Review the plan with family members or others who are regularly present in the building
For a fire escape plan to be effective, it is important that everyone understands it. Review the plan and conduct practice drills to be certain that everyone knows what to do. Make sure that anyone who may need assistance exiting in the event of the fire, such as young children or the elderly, has someone assigned to them.
- Install equipment and smoke alarms
Every room should have an operable smoke alarm. In addition, second-floor escape routes may need escape ladders. If escape ladders are necessary, they should be included in practice drills to ensure that everyone knows how to use them properly.
- Designate a meeting place outside for everyone to go to once they've exited
There should be a meeting place for everyone to report to so that immediate attention can be brought to those who are missing. There should also be a process in place for calling the local emergency authorities.