Raising Elves

As wild as nature. Myself, parenting and natural remedies blog.

Updated 2015: Have you got a home fire escape plan?


One of my biggest fears since I’ve become a mother is what I would do in the event of a fire.

I often wake up with a fear that a fire would break out over night and I would lie in bed trying to figure out ways to get to my baby.

I have planned keeping a sledge hammer in the bedroom so I could knock down the wall between our rooms.

I still haven’t bought one.

It’s like you think about it but then hope, wish, pray- believe- that it wouldn’t happen to you.

But it does happen.

According to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government an average of forty people die in the Republic of Ireland each year from fire. Also, over one thousand people suffer from injuries caused by fire related burns and smoke inhalation.

 In order to keep your family and home safe from fire you are recommended to follow the three golden rules:

  • Prevention

  • Protection

  • Evacuation

Despite some prevention and protective measures are drilled into us from childhood, I don’t believe it is common for families to have prepared a fire escape plan so this post is dedicated to creating a home fire escape plan.

Also, it is very common for a child’s logic to bring them to hide during a fire- for example, in the wardrobe or under the bed.

Does your child know what to do if you can’t access them during a fire?

If you would like to take the time to refresh yourself on prevention and detection you can find information here:

A pre-arranged evacuation plan is essential, especially for families with young children. To prepare and have a fire evacuation trial is the only way to teach children what to do and stay relatively calm in the event of a fire.

Creating a home fire escape plan

  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • When drawing doors show which direction the door opens out.
  • It is not recommended to lock windows.
  • Try to have at least two exits per room.
  • Make a plan for helping babies and toddlers.
  • Pre-choose a meeting place outside- show your children exactly where to go and tell them that they have to wait for you there.
  • Practice your evacuation twice a year.
  • Play a game of pretend with a young child to teach about staying calm
  • Teach your children essential things like crawling low on the ground, touching a door to feel how hot it is before opening it and not to leave the window open as it will draw the fire to them- only use the window to call for help and then close it afterward- unless it is suitable as an exit.
  • Invest in fire blankets and teach your children how to use them (use duds in practice and keep the real ones in a designated spot in their bedroom).

You can find a more detailed fire escape plan guide here

This is a really good 8 step guide including what to do if you are stuck in a 2nd storey room

I highly recommend the links above- I used them as a type of refresher course and they gave me a lot of information that I had never known before or had forgotten.


I feel a little more at ease knowing I have a plan in place but it is hard with a toddler or baby who could never understand the concept of practicing for a fire. Elf was three before I felt she was ready to go through the motions of fire evacuation.

I hope this has resonated with you rather than frightened you!

If you have any further tips to share please do leave a comment for me and other readers.


5 thoughts on “Updated 2015: Have you got a home fire escape plan?

  1. Great post about a very important topic. We’ve talked with the kids about an escape plan but you definitely need to do it over and over so they can react instinctually. Also, it’s easy to look at the cost of, say, a fire escape ladder and think you can put off buying one (some can cost more than £100) but it’s a worthwhile investment.

  2. Great post. People should seriously plan for the worst, and hope it will never happen.
    Another Tip is to test your smoke alarm on the same day every week and always have a spare battery on hand for the alarm.

  3. GREAT post. I tend to pray it doesn’t happen and do nothing more proactive than that… I’ll check out those guidelines tonight xx

    • It’s something we really don’t want to think about (and shouldn’t over do it) but this topic pops in and out of my life every now and then so I fall back to this post to remind myself to go through the role play with Elf again.

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