When do most home fires start?

Between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m., just when you are asleep – and least prepared!

Where do most home fires start?

In this order kitchen, living room, basement, bedrooms, all others. This means that most fires start just where they are likely to block your usual escape (from bedrooms).

Fire Escape Planning

Draw a floor plan of your ground or upper floor bedrooms with two escape routes from each room.

Step 1 (Basic Floor Layout):

To get you started, select a floor plan from the list on the right that is most like your home and print it out; or draw your own floor plan by following these guidelines:

  1. Make an outline of your entire floor area: dimensions and details need not be exact.
  2. Now add each bedroom and label it.
  3. Locate windows, doors and stairways. If any upper floor, shade in any rooftops that could be used as a fire escape.

Step 2 (Room Inspection):

  1. Go to each bedroom and select the best window for an emergency escape.
  2. Test the windows or screens to see that they work easily and are large and low enough to use.

Step 3 (Complete “Escape Plan”):

  1. Black arrows show normal exit through hall or stairways.
  2. Red arrows show emergency exit in case fire blocks hallways or stairs.

Family Instructions

Gather your family together for a short explanation of the vital nighttime fire escape procedures.

Point 1
Always sleep with bedroom or hall door closed. It can keep out fire long enough to allow escape through your emergency escape route (usually a window.).

Point 2
Make certain that a smoke alarm is installed and operating properly in the hallway outside bedrooms. Fire safety officials are now recommending the placement of smoke alarms inside bedrooms where the door is kept closed at night. This is to protect against the advent of fire starting inside the bedroom.

Point 3
Don’t waste time getting dressed or gathering valuables. Precious seconds can count in a fire.

Point 4
Test the door before opening. Intense heat and deadly smoke can be on the other side.

Point 5
Have an outside meeting place to quickly check if everyone is safe. Once out – STAY OUT!

Point 6
Plan to use a neighbour’s phone to dial 911 (or your local emergency number).

Practice Makes Perfect

Conducting Your Fire Escape Drill

  1. Everyone is in his/her bedroom (doors closed).
  2. Test your smoke alarm to sound the alarm.
  3. Everyone swings into action – out of bed, to the door.
  4. Carefully test door before opening.

First Drill:
Escape through normal exit (hall or stairway).

Second Drill:
Imagine doors are hot and the hall is blocked by fire. Now everyone must test his emergency escape exit. Depending on age and capability, you need not actually go out on the roof, but be sure everyone can open windows, screens easily, and position emergency escape ladder quickly, etc.