Fire & Burns

Home Fire Drill: Have you practiced with your family?

Get out your stopwatches, because it’s time for a two-minute home fire drill. Home fires are more common than many parents realize, but only a fraction of families have an escape plan. Visit to learn fun and memorable ways to teach kids how to escape a home fire in an emergency.


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  • Make a Plan

    • Draw a floor plan for each floor of your home, including windows and doors. For each room, find two ways out, and label them on your plan. Get started by downloading the worksheet
    • Designate one adult to help get babies, young children, or family members who need extra help out safely. Have a back-up plan in case the primary person is overcome by smoke, or is not home. 
    • Decide on a safe meeting place for your family. Make sure it is a safe distance away from the home.
  • Talk to your kids

    • Make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of a fire. 
    • Test your smoke alarms twice a year, and make sure your child can recognize the sound. 
    • Teach your child to get low and crawl on the ground, where the air is less smoky. 
    • Show your child how to use the back of his hand to check doors for heat before opening. Teach them to use a different way out if the door is hot to the touch. 
    • If your child needs to use an escape ladder, show him where you keep it, and how to use it.
    • Children can become scared and confused during emergencies, so teach them to never hide from firefighters. 
    • Teach children to NEVER go back inside a burning building. Once they are out, stay out!
  • Do a Home Fire Drill

    • Practice your fire escape plan twice a year. Fires can start anywhere in the home and at any time, so run through the plan at different times of the day or night, and practice different ways out. 
    • Use a stopwatch to time how fast everyone can get out and to the specified meeting place. The goal should be under 2 minutes. 
    • Practice feeling the door and doorknob with the back of your hand for heat. 
    • Explain that if they do catch fire, they need to stop, drop and roll.

Did You Know?

Illustration of individual running from fire to an open doorway.

77% of families do not have a fire escape plan in place

- Safe Kids Worldwide