Creating an escape plan

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Creating an escape plan

In a fire, you'll probably be scared and disorientated. Toxic smoke might make it hard to breathe and see clearly.

You will only have 1 or 2 minutes from the sounding of the smoke alarm to when your life is seriously threatened by fire or smoke.

That's why it's essential to have an escape plan in place, to practice it regularly, and to know how to get to safety quickly.

Making an escape plan

Start by getting together everyone who lives in your house. Walk through each room and identify the exits using the Escape Planner Tool

Go outside and find a safe spot, away from the house, which can be your SAFE meeting place. This is where everyone will gather in the event of a fire. A landmark like a letterbox or special tree is best.

Identify a primary escape route out of every room. Then pick a secondary route in case the first is blocked by fire. Check there is a safe way to reach the ground from upper floors.

Make sure there's at least two ways out of every room and that doors and windows can be opened easily.

If you have small children, sit down with a pen and paper and actually make a map of your home. Have them draw escape plans from the bedroom and memorise the quickest way out of the house.

You can also use the online Escape Planner Tool,which takes them through the steps of creating an escape plan.

After making your escape plan, it's a good idea to also look at our fire safety checklist to make sure your house is fire safe. Remember, you need to:

  • Have working smoke alarms
  • Keep keys in deadlocks at all times when home

Practicing your escape plan

Everyone who lives in the property needs to understand the Escape Plan and practise escaping from each room in the house by the two exits.

Most fires start in kitchens (one in four), bedrooms (one in eight), and lounges and family rooms (one in six). Make sure your family practises escaping from these rooms every 3 - 6 months.

Make sure everyone knows the sound of the smoke alarm and what to do if a fire occurs.

 

Remember...

Get Out! Stay Out!

Use our online escape planner tool to make your home fire safe.