Creating a Home Escape Plan and Other Handy Firefighting Tips


Create a fire escape plan for your home. Know how you will escape. Draw a floor plan of your home and identify two ways out from each room. If you live in a two-storey home, find a way to escape from the upper level. Check that the windows open freely and that children can easily open each exit. Give special consideration to the needs of elderly people and people with a disability.


Display the escape plan in a central area of your home—such as the fridge or a notice board. Practise your escape plan at least twice a year.


You must be able to escape from your home in the event of fire. When at home, keep a key in the inside deadlock to ensure that you can leave quickly.


Train your family in an evacuation procedure:

  • follow the escape plan
  • alert others as you go
  • when there is smoke, crawl low to get under the smoke
  • test each door using the back of your hand, if the handle is hot do not open it
  • close the door as you leave a room to prevent fire and smoke from spreading
  • never go back inside the house, once out stay out
  • meet at the assembly area
  • make sure all the family know how to call the fire service




If your clothes catch on fire, don’t try to run away— this will only make the fire burn hotter and faster.  Instead remember to: STOP, DROP and ROLL.

STOP, don’t run as running will make the flames bigger.

DROP to the ground and cover your face with your hands.

ROLL over to smother the flames.


Teach your children this technique so they know what to do if ever their clothing catches alight.


To help someone else whose clothes are on fire, throw a woollen blanket over them to smother the flames.


After the flames are extinguished, cool the burnt area with clean, cold water. Do not attempt to remove melted clothing or other materials from the skin.


Don’t use ice, cotton wool or anything such as butter or ointments on the burn. Seek medical help from a doctor or hospital.


You can further protect your children by selecting ‘low fire danger’ clothing for them; particularly for pyjamas, night gowns and infant sleeping bags.


If a fire starts while cooking, turn off the stove or cover the flame if it is safe to do so.


Utilise a fire extinguisher if available. Otherwise leave the kitchen, close the door and call the Fire Brigade.


This information was obtained from Eureka Forbes