2. Identify which exits to use and make sure they allow for an easy escape.
“When creating an escape plan, identify at least two ways out for each room on every level of your home,” says Kidde fire safety educator Sharon Cooksey. She also encourages family members to check windows and doors. “Make sure you can open all doors and windows in homes, and locks and pins should open easily.”
Homeowners should check that windows haven’t been nailed closed or sealed shut with paint. If they have, arrange for someone to break the seals around your home and remove any nails. “Additionally, make sure you have a clear exit path and there are no obstructions that could prevent you from escaping,” says Cooksey. It is important to note the best route to escape, especially from the place where you sleep, and always have a backup route.
3. Assign helpers.
Determine who will assist children, people with mobility limitations, and pets to ensure the entire household is accounted for and no one is left behind. Have a backup person in case the assigned person is away in the event of a fire. When divvying up responsibilities, keep in mind where everyone is most likely to be (e.g. whose bedroom is next to the dog crate or grandma’s room?), and think through your pet’s favorite hiding spot where they are likely to retreat when a smoke alarm goes off.