House Fire Plan

By Robert Robillard on Home And Personal Safety

House Fires ~ Have A Plan!

Most house fires happen between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Which means you’re likely to be asleep, making it that much more important that you know how to save yourself and your family since you won’t have much time to plan your escape.  Do you have a house fire plan?


If you notice smoke, drop to the floor and begin to crawl to the nearest exit. The smoke and heat will rise to the ceiling. With luck, you’ll be able to stay where the air is cool and clear.


Before you go opening doors, check for heat. The smart way to do this is to feel the top of the door with the back of your hand.  You don’t want to go burning your palm or your fingers — you could be needing them later in your escape, like for climbing down a ladder.

If the door is hot, don’t open it. Doors can keep out smoke, even more so if you can put a blanket or clothing along the bottom. Head for the window. If you can’t get out, find a way to signal your presence, say with a flashlight or white sheet.

If the door isn’t hot, open it slowly. Obviously, if you see flames, close it quickly. If all seems clear, however, start crawling, making sure that you close any doors between you and where you think the fire might be.


If you have children you owe it to them and to yourself to work out an escape plan. Remember, chances are any fire will start while they’re sleeping and you may not have the opportunity to tell them what to do. They need to know what to do, and they’ll only know if they’ve practiced it. Plus, children, when they panic, look for places to hide, like a closet or under the bed. They need to know to get out of the house, and how to do it, by crawling to the nearest exit.

If a window is your only option in your house fire plan, lower any children to the ground first. Kids might panic and not follow if you leave first. Once outside head to the meeting place that’s the final piece of your escape plan, like a mailbox or the big tree in your yard. You want to make sure as soon as possible that everyone’s safe.

~ concord carpenter


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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