Fire Escape PlanningIf there's a fire, the most important thing is to get out quickly. Having a plan and having home fire drills can save lives.

Everyone in your home should help put together your plan. Draw the floor plan of your home, showing doors and windows.

Next, show two ways to get out of each room – probably a door and a window. Then choose a meeting place where everyone will gather to "count noses" and wait for help while someone goes to a neighbor's house to call 9-1-1.

Once the plan has been drawn, walk through it. Make certain that windows can be opened and that there is a way to reach the ground safely if it's above the first floor.

Have home fire drills regularly. Because fires often occur at night, have everyone lie down in bed while one person tests the smoke detector to signal the start of the drill. In a real fire, smoke may be filling your room, so it's important to roll out of the bed and stay low under the smoke. Crawl to the most direct exit and go to your meeting place as quickly and safely as you can. During the next fire drill, try your other way out. In a real fire, you should feel the door before you open it. If it's hot, don't attempt to open it. If it's cool, open it slightly and peek outside. If you see smoke or fire, don't go that way. Shut the door quickly and use the other way out.

Remember, in a fire, seconds count. Never take time to get dressed or take anything with you. And don't ever go back into a burning building!