Utah Department of Public Safety

State Fire Marshal - Planning a Home Fire Drill

Building fires are deadly; they are fast, hot, dark and full of poisons! Knowing what to do when a fire is in your building, can save your life.


  1. Make a map of your home.
  2. Know at least two (2) ways out of every room, if possible.
  3. Have a plan for anyone who may need assistance in your home.
  4. Choose an outside meeting place away from the home where everyone should meet. The neighbor's front door, your mailbox, or where you park your car is often a good place to meet.
  5. Find all doors and windows that lead outside. Make sure they open easily.
  6. For homes with a second or third level, consider escape ladders listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
  7. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to call 9-1-1.
  8. Make sure your house number can be seen from the street.
  9. Practice the plan with everyone in your home twice each year.

Practice the Planget out safely

  1. Prepare everyone for the drill.
  2. Push the smoke alarm button to start the drill.
  3. Get out fast.
  4. Close doors behind you as you leave.
  5. Go to your outside meeting place. Never go back inside. Get out and stay out!
  6. Celebrate your success and discuss any changes that are needed.
  7. Practice using different ways out.

Making a Safe Escape


  1. When a smoke alarm sounds, and there is smoke or fire, get out and stay out!
  2. Once the smoke alarm sounds, you may have only seconds or minutes to escape safely.
  3. If there is smoke blocking your way out, use your second way out.
  4. Smoke is toxic. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
  5. If you can't get out, close the door to keep smoke out, call for help, and signal for help at the window.

Feel the Door Procedure

Before opening a door, feel the doorknob. If it is hot, use your second way out.

Use of Escape Ladders

Consider getting escape ladders listed by a recognized testing laboratory for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Practice opening the ladder and dropping it out the window, but not using it. Make sure the escape ladder fits the window. Use only if all other exits are blocked.

Assistance to Others During Escape

Teach your children how to escape on their own in case the caregiver cannot provide assistance.

Have a plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.

If you can't get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call the fire department. Tell the fire department where the person is located.

Some children and adults may not awaken to the sound of the smoke alarm. They may need help to wake up.


If pets are trapped inside your home, inform firefighters right away.

[Last Update - Friday, 08-Mar-2013 16:26:29 MST]