Fire escape planning with your family

CHICAGO -- Fire Departments respond to approximately 374,000 home fires each year in the U.S. Three in five deaths occur in homes without properly working smoke alarms or no alarm at all.

We asked firefighters from all over the U.S. for tips on staying safe at home.


Chicago Fire Department Deputy District Chief Walter Schroeder says, "if there is a silver lining in our quarantine this is it. We can really get families together to talk about evacuation plans in the home and fire safety."

"The first thing we need to do because we are all home is check our smoke detectors," Schroeder said.

Manuel Fonseca, President of the NAHFF agrees.

"The most important tip I can give anybody, and I say this day in and day out, is have a working smoke alarm in your home," he said.

Fonseca adds, "check it with the family, bring the whole family so they all can hear that sound. They need to know that when that sound goes, there is a problem in the house."


Fonseca also stressed the importance of an escape plan.

"I would recommend to practice it at least once a month and that way it stays fresh in their (kids) minds. Even make a game out of it ... you can time yourself, so its entertaining and not boring for the kids," said Stephanie Humberd, firefighter from Texas.

A good way to practice this is to sketch out a layout.

"It's as simple as getting out a piece of paper and some crayons and draw two ways out." Humberd added.

For more fire safety tips visit www.firstalert.com