Fire Escape Planning & Home Fire Safety

About 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and about 20,000 are injured. You can stop the fire before it starts. Use this fact sheet to learn how to prevent a fire in your home and know what to do if you have a fire.

Be prepared for a fire:

  • One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a “Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm.” A smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire.
  • Know your local emergency numbers. In most areas the number is 911.
  • Practice finding your way out of the house with your eyes closed, crawling or staying low to the ground, and feeling your way out of the house.
  • Never open doors that are hot.
  • Teach your family to stop, drop to the ground, and roll if their clothes catch fire.
  • Decide on a meeting place outside your home and check to see if anyone is missing. Everyone must get out and stay out of the house or apartment.
  • Remember to escape first, and then call the fire department.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two ways to escape from each room in the house or apartment.
  • Help children and senior citizens to escape from a fire.
  • NEVER go back into a fire once you have escaped.


To learn more on how you can help prevent fires and fire deaths, please contact your local fire department’s office phone number (not 911) or visit or

The U.S. Fire Administration is a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.


Download a PDF of this Information.