Information for Families

Your family can survive a fire in your home if you plan and practice your escape. Be sure to include all members of your household in the process.

Plan Your Escape
• Draw a floor plan of your home. Show two ways out of each room. Discuss escape routes with everyone in your home.
• Agree on a meeting place outside where everyone will gather once you’ve escaped.
• You should call 911 from a neighbor’s phone or a portable phone once you’ve escaped.

Be Prepared
• Make sure everyone can clearly hear and recognize the sound of all smoke alarms at all times.
• Studies have shown that some children may not awaken to the sound of the smoke alarm. Know what your child will do before a fire occurs and plan accordingly.
• Teach everyone in your household how to unlock and open all windows and doors.
• Keep stairways and exits clear and free from clutter.

Installation and Maintenance of Your Smoke Alarms
Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area. If you are financially unable to afford them or unable physically to change batteries, we can assist you, contact us at (253) 538-6402.
• Test your smoke alarms once a month.
• Replace alarm batteries once a year, or consider installing smoke alarms with a “long life” (10 year) battery. These alarms must be tested once a month.
• Replace any alarm that’s more than 10 years old.
• Install smoke alarms with strobe lights for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. If you need one of these alarms, please contact our Prevention & Education Division at (253) 538-6402 or submit a request online by clicking here.

• Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year.
• Teach children to feel their bedroom door before opening it. If the door is hot, use your second way out. If it’s cool, open it slowly. Close it quickly if smoke pours through.
• If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Practice doing this with young children.
• Teach members of your family to close doors behind you as you escape to slow the spread of fire and smoke.
• Have everyone meet outside at your meeting place.


Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill a person in minutes.  Carbon monoxide can quickly build up to unsafe levels in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas.  For more information on understanding the Washington State Carbon Monoxide Alarm Laws click here.