Fire Escape Planning for your Home

According to the Honolulu Fire Department, in less than 30 seconds a small flame can become out of control and turn into a major fire in only minutes. Having a sound fire escape plan for your home can help you and your family get out of your home quickly and safely.

  • Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily. Make sure there are no items blocking the doors and windows that could impede your escape in the event of a fire.
  • Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability. The best plans have two ways to get out of each room. If the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out.
  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible. Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan.
  • Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
  • Security bars are meant to keep you safe from intruders but can trap you in the event of a fire. Windows and doors with security bars must have quick release devices to allow them to be opened immediately in an emergency. Check the bars on occasion to ensure it can be opened easily. Make sure everyone in your family understands how to properly operate and open locked or barred doors and windows.
  • Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people's homes, ask about their escape plan. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend "sleepovers" at friends' homes.
  • Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the specialized training and equipment to perform rescues.

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