City of Tahlequah, OK 111 S Cherokee
Tahlequah, OK 74464
Phone: (918) 456-0651
Fax: (918) 458-9589
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    Home Escape Plan
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Do You Have an Escape Plan?

There is one primary rule of life safety to follow when there is a fire in your home -


In order to get everyone out of the house safely and quickly, YOU NEED AN ESCAPE PLAN. The escape plan is vital because everyone must know what to do and what NOT to do; it may save the lives of your loved ones.

There are seven basic parts to the escape plan:

  1. Floor Plan
  2. Alternate Escape Routes
  3. Procedures
  4. Practice
  5. Help for infants, elderly & disabled
  6. Meeting Place
  7. Summoning the Fire Department

  1. Draw up a floor plan of your home. Indicate all doors and windows, as well as stairways, porches, and porch or garage roofs.

  2. Figure out two ways to reach the ground or another safe location from each room, especially from each bedroom. Indicate both escape routes on your floor plan. If no alternate route is available, you need to be particularly careful to prevent fires; perhaps you could put an extension telephone in the room so you could all for fast help in case of fire.

  3. Knowing procedures in case of fire can ensure your safe escape. Review the following procedures with your family:

    • Sleep with bedroom doors closed. In case of fire, the doors will hold back deadly flames, heat, and smoke, allowing extra time to escape by an alternate route or obtain help.

    • If you awaken in your bed & think there may be a fire, don't jump out of bed. Hot, poisonous fire gases may be in the room above your head. Roll out of bed and onto the floor.

    • Stay low when smoke or hot gases are present, air nearer the floor is cooler & contains less smoke. If possible, hold your breath & cover your nose & mouth with a damp cloth as you escape.

    • Don't rush into other rooms or hallways if you think a fire may be present. Put the palm of your hand against the door. If it feels cool, it should be safe to enter. Brace the door with your foot, open slightly & place your hand across the opening to determine how hot the air is.

    • If the door feels hot, that room or hallway is already filled with deadly heated gases. Keep the door closed and use an alternate escape route.

    • If you can leave by the hallway, you may alert other family members by shouting or pounding on the door.

    • A window may be the only alternate escape route. Be sure these windows work easily, and are large enough and low enough to be used. If there is a balcony or porch or garage roof outside the window, use it as an escape route or wait on it for help.

    • If, when trying to escape, a window cannot be opened, use a shoe, chair, or other object to break the glass & clear off the jagged edges. Blankets or other bedding can be thrown over the sill as protection against cuts.

  4. Practice the escape procedures regularly by actually going through the actions - and practice them at night occasionally, too. Don't forget to practice alternate escape routes and make sure everyone participates so they all know what to do. Inform the baby- sitter of the plan and have them practice as well.

  5. The elderly, disabled & infants may need special help in getting out in case of fire. If necessary, assign someone to help them. In many localities, the fire department can provide decals that can be placed on doors or windows to indicate to firemen where infants or disabled persons may be found.

  6. Arrange to meet at a preplanned location well away from the house, common meeting places are a street corner, a street light pole, a fire hydrant, a tree, etc. Once everyone has escaped from the building.
    Do not reenter for any reason


Every escape plan should be supplemented with a smoke detection & alarm system. If your home is not already provided with at least one smoke detector which can provide an early warning in case of fire, your family should discuss & plan for the installation of such detectors as soon as possible. Guidance in the selection and installation of detectors & alarms can be obtained from the National Fire Protection Association in their Standard for Household Fire Warning Equipment.

Fire prevention is your best Fire Protection. Be careful when smoking & with matches. Avoid misuse of electrical appliances. Home owners should have heating equipment cleaned and checked for repairs regularly. You CAN prevent fires & protect your loved ones.