Fire Escape Plans

A fire can double in size each minute. Research shows that 30 years ago, you had about 17 minutes to escape a house fire.  Today it's down to 3 or 4 minutes, this is because synthetic furniture and materials that are used in home construction today actually burn hotter and faster than natural materials do. 

Having a home fire escape plan is one of the most important things you can do with your family. By working on a home escape plan together, you and your family will know the safest way out of your home in the event of a fire.

Below are some tips to help you make a home escape plan.

 Plan Your Fire Escape Route
To ensure your family has a fire escape route in an emergency situation, plan 2 ways out of each room by doing the following:
  • - Identify your primary (first way out) and secondary (second way out) exits! The first way out should be your front or back door, and the second way out can be a window
  • - Make sure windows can be opened easily
  • - Plan your escape in a two-storey home through a window onto a roof or porch
  • - Consider purchasing a deployable fire escape ladder, if you must use one for your escape plan
  • - Practice your escape plan at least once a year
  • - Basement bedrooms must also have an adequately sized and code compliant egress window installed for the basement floor level

If you see smoke around your primary escape route, use your secondary exit. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go beneath the smoke.

Choose a Meeting Place 
During an emergency, make sure all family members know where to meet outside the home and mark it on your home escape plan.  A good meeting place would be a tree, telephone pole or a neighbour's home.
 Apartment Escape Planning
If you live in an apartment, remember the following tips for exiting your building during a fire or emergency:
  • - Always use the stairs, never use an elevator in case of a fire
  • - Residents should know all exit options in advance, there are at least two exit stairways from the floor level your apartment is situated on
  • - Do not use elevators even if they appear to be working (when the alarm sounds, elevators may be grounded and in control of the responding firefighters)
  • - If fire or smoke blocks your exit, protect yourself and your family in place by doing the following:
    • Close your apartment door, but do not lock it
    • Cover all cracks where smoke could enter using wet towels or tape
    • Call 9-1-1 even if firefighters are already onsite and telling them the number of your apartment
    • Wave a sheet or towel from the window to help firefighters locate you
    • Stay calm and listen for instructions from fire personnel

Use our free Fire Escape Plan grid to draw a floor plan of your home. Show all doors and windows and two (2) ways out of every room. Mark the meeting place outside your home.

Fire Escape Plan

Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

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