Do You Have an Escape Plan?

fire exitIf there were a fire in your home or residence hall, would you be ready to get out?

According to a National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) survey, only one-third of Americans would be adequately prepared to evacuate their homes in the event of a fire, having both developed and practiced an escape plan.

Also in the NFPA survey:

  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan, but a majority of those people have never practiced their plan.
  • One-third of households that made a plan estimated they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home became life threatening. However, the time available is often much less.
  • Only 8 percent of individuals surveyed said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.

Because fires can strike anywhere and at anytime, having an escape plan for your home or residence hall, and occasionally practicing your plan, will help in preparing for an emergency. Texas Tech residence halls conduct three fire drills each semester to ensure that students living on campus can practice evacuation procedures.

NFPA offers some important tips on escape plans for homes, as well:

  • Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the map with everyone in the home.
  • Have an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from the home, such as a tree or light pole.
  • Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day, twice a year.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own, in case you can’t help them.

NFPA offers a tip sheet to help you develop an escape plan for your family.

The Texas Department of Insurance also offers a comprehensive website on creating an exit strategy.

The Texas Tech Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for fire safety on the campus. The office offers training in fire extinguisher use, evacuation and general fire safety. For more information, or to schedule training, contact the office at (806) 742-1045, or email Walter James ( or Andy Lawson (

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the most dangerous place in the house when it comes to fire–your kitchen.

Thank you for participating in Safety@TTU. Please send any questions or feedback to

This information is not exhaustive and should not be construed as containing all the necessary compliance, safety, or warning information available. Please make sure you consult with EH&S or appropriate supervisors for all safety information and procedures.

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