In 2015 alone, there were more than 365,000 home fires in the United States, causing more than $7 billion in damages.1
And many of those started in the kitchen when homeowners were cooking.
To protect your home and family from the dangers of a fire, you need to understand how fast it can spread. Once a fire breaks out in your home, you have just seconds to escape. That's because in just minutes, that fire can turn life-threatening. In less than five minutes, your entire home could become engulfed by the flames.2
The best way to survive a home fire is to escape it, and that means having a home fire safety plan. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to create one for your family, and be sure to practice it regularly. How to Create a Fire Escape Plan – tips from NFPA
Creating a fire escape plan
- and practicing it with your family at least twice a year - is the type of advanced planning recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). More tips from the NFPA on how to plan your own family's escape plan are below:
What to Do if Your Fire Alarm Sounds
- Draw a map of your home that includes all doors and windows.
- Make sure everyone knows at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and that window exits all open.
- Designate an outside meeting place, like a tree or neighbor's mailbox that is a safe distance from your home.
- Ensure children know how to get out on their own, in case adults can't assist them. Assign someone in the family to assist infants, seniors, or anyone else that would require help getting out.
- Close doors behind you when you leave, if possible. It can slow the spread of fire and smoke.3
- Practice your escape plan at least twice a year, including at night. And practice using different ways out of your home, as well as feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
If you're confronted with the worst and you have a home fire, the NFPA says to get out immediately and stay out. Never go back into a burning house even if someone from your family is missing. Call 911 and inform the dispatcher instead. Wait until the fire department arrives and let them know as well.
Having a fire in your home is a scary thought. But if you have the right escape plan for your family to get out safely, you'll be better prepared if the unimaginable occurs.