Exit Drills In The Home
burning house
Practice the steps
that could save
your life.

Assemblyman Cusick A message
Fire Safety
Michael J. Cusick

Dear Parent:

Teaching children about fire safety goes much further than simply telling them not to play with matches.

This brochure will help you teach your children how to escape safely from a fire. It provides instructions on how to run Exit Drills In The Home (E.D.I.T.H.). The whole family should participate. Inside are visual aids you can go over with your children to familiarize them with their role in an E.D.I.T.H. drill.

Please take the time to go through this brochure with your children. By teaching your children what happens during a fire, they will be less likely to panic during an actual emergency.

1911 Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 370-1384
727 LOB, Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-5526

Exit Drills In The Home

Have An Escape Plan
Sit down with your family. Talk about what to do in case of a fire. Organize a step-by-step escape plan.

Know Two Ways Out
Discuss and diagram two ways out from every room, especially bedrooms. Put all the doors, windows, stairs and hallways on the plan. Pick at least one window in each room to be used as an emergency exit.

Pick A Safe Place
To prevent panic, select a place outdoors for everyone to meet. Designate one person to call the fire department from a neighbor's house.

Do Not Go Back
Make sure everyone understands the importance of not going back inside the home. There may not be another chance to get out safely.

Get Out Fast
Exit as quickly as possible. If it's smoky, stay low to the floor as you go. If the door is hot, do not open it, use your alternate route. Once outside, go to the family meeting place.

Practice Your Plan
Practice E.D.I.T.H. twice a year. Hold drills at night with the lights out. Check that everyone is following the escape plan properly. If you move, remember to develop a new plan.

Practice Your Family Fire Drill

First, designate someone to be the monitor to sound the alarm and time the drill. It is important for everyone to improve upon their time.

  1. To begin, everyone in bedrooms, lights out, doors closed.

  2. The monitor sounds alarm and times drill. Make sure everyone follows their normal exit route and their alternate exit route.

  3. Everyone crawl low as if under smoke.

  4. Test closed doors. Pretend it’s hot and use an alternate escape route. (Second story windows and other dangerous emergency exits should be used only during an actual fire.)

  5. Meet outside (at the designated meeting place) for roll call. One person goes to use the neighbor’s phone to call the fire department.

Practice E.D.I.T.H.
Know what to do in case of fire.
Sit down and draw your family escape plan together. Drawing of a Family
Drawing of a House Include regular and emergency escape routes and a place outside for the family to meet.
Artwork by: Debra McLaughlin & Rick Van de Kieft
for the Suffolk County Fire Safety Educators Association.

Here’s what you should do in case of a fire...


1. Always sleep with the bedroom door closed.


2. A smoke detector will give you warning of a fire.


3. Do not sit up in bed. Roll out of bed and crawl under smoke and heat.


4. Do not hide in the closet or under the bed. Let your family know you are all right and then get out!


5. Feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, don’t open it! If the door is cool, open carefully.


6. If the way is clear, crawl under the smoke to the meeting place. If there is a fire in the hallway, do not go out the bedroom door! Use your emergency way out.


7. Open the window and climb out. Turn around and lower yourself. Hang by your fingers and drop to the ground.


8. Go to your meeting place outside your house. Stay there so your parents know you are safe!


9. Your family is safe thanks to E.D.I.T.H.

***Click here for a printable view***

Phone Numbers
(Keep These By Your Phone)

Fire Department

Police Department


Personal Physician

Neighbor’s House

This brochure contains excerpts
from publications produced by the
National Fire Protection Association.