The calmer you remain, the easier it is to react quickly and wisely. Stay cool and help members of your family act calmly. This will minimize or eliminate tragic mistakes.
Heat and smoke rise, so stay low to the ground as you escape. Breathe through your nose and take short breaths. If necessary, break open a window to get air and call for help, but never open a window near the blaze. Close doors behind you as you escape.
Remember: NEVER GO UPSTAIRS, STAY LOW!
If you are awakened to a fire, test the closed bedroom door to see if it is hot. If so, escape through windows. If the door feels cool, open it slowly, but close it quickly again if you feel a rush of hot air or smell smoke. Teach children to do the same. Have a flashlight handy in each room for night escapes.
Once out of the house — stay out! Don’t attempt a rescue. Know the whereabouts of the nearest phone or emergency call box and let the fire department take over. There are no material objects in your home worth risking the safety of you or your family. Once everyone arrives at the designated meeting place, stay calm — and stay put.
Select a Meeting Place!
Pick a spot for everyone to meet. Make sure it’s easy to get to. Assign someone responsibility for very young children and handicapped persons. Write it down and display it where everyone can see it as a reminder.
For more information, FEMA has an excellent brochure here: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_46.pdf