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The American Red Cross



Home fires are the most common disaster that the Red Cross responds to and also the most preventable.


Families need to take a few simple precautions to avoid tragedies, such as having working smoke alarms on every level of their homes and having family fire escape plans in place to help get everyone out of the house safely.  


The American Red Cross recommends the following when creating your family escape plan:

  • Identify two ways to escape from every room in the home.
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
  • Select a safe location away from the home where your family can meet after escaping. 
  • Consider purchasing and storing escape ladders for rooms above ground level and make sure to learn how to use them.
  • If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out.  
  • If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke. 
  • Before escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it.  If it is warm, use your second escape route.  
  • If smoke, heat or flames block both of your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed.  Place a rolled towel underneath the door.  Signal for help by waving a brightly colored cloth or shining a flashlight at the window.  If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and let them know your exact location inside the home. 
  • Once you've escaped, stay out.  

Be Red Cross Ready Interactive Online Presentation


Follow these 3 simple preparedness steps to keep your family safe.



        Get a Kit                      Make a Plan                       Be Informed
            PDF                               PDF                                PDF






Emergency Contact Card

Tell everyone in the household where emergency contact information is kept. Make copies for each member of the family to carry with them. Be sure to include an out-of-town contact. It may be easier to call out of the area if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.

Tell your children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for help. Post emergency telephone numbers by phones.

Complete the information on the Emergency Contact Card and make copies for each member of your family to carry with them.

Download the American Red Cross Emergency Contact Card

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