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Lesson Activity 1: The Great Family Escape Plan


  • Students will learn about the importance of fire escape plans, using the school as an example.
  • Students will select safe meeting places with their families and draw fire escape plans for their homes.
  • Students will discuss hazards that block escape routes and how to correct them.
  • Students will identify the working smoke detectors in their home and discuss when and how to check their batteries.


  • Know essential concepts and practices concerning injury prevention and safety. (McREL)


  • Pencils and rulers
  • Paper for printouts


  1. Review The Escape Guide safety tips, which are available by clicking the printables box on this page. Discuss how quickly fires can spread and why everyone should know in advance what to do if they hear a smoke alarm.
  1. Using the classroom as an example, discuss possible escape paths that include the use of windows as well as doors. Be sure to stress the importance of having more than one escape path and of choosing a central meeting place outside.
  1. Make 3 or 4 copies of the blank Floor Plan Grids for each student, which are available by clicking the printables box on this page.
  1. Break the class into small groups of 3 or 4 students, giving each group a Floor Plan Grid. Have the groups draw escape plans for the classroom, lunch room, and any additional school areas you like.
  1. Give each student 2-3 Floor Plan Grids to use for their homework. Ask them to work with their families to select an outdoor meeting place and to map out escape paths for each room in their house or apartment. In addition, have students indicate where the smoke alarms are located in their homes on the floor plans.
  1. The next day, hand out copies of the blank Smoke Alarm Tracker form for each student to complete – filling in the Room/Location for each smoke detector in their home based on their completed Floor Plan Grids. Sample tracker forms are available by clicking the printables box on this page.
  1. Use the questions below to lead a discussion about the students' fire escape plans and home smoke alarms.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Where did your family decide would be the best place to meet outdoors? Why did you select this location?
  1. Did you have any problems finding two escape routes from any room in your home?
  1. Are there any hazards, such as furniture, that block your escape routes? If so, can you rearrange the room so that you have clear escape routes?
  1. Do you know when the batteries were last checked or replaced in your smoke detectors? Discuss the schedule for battery checks and replacements on the Smoke Alarm Tracker form and how students can help remind their parents to do these regular inspections.

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Resources for you to print and use offline. Printables will open a new window in print-friendly format. You may close window after reviewing and/or printing.

Lesson Activity 1
Printable version of lesson activity 1.

Escape Map
Using the floor plan printout, create a map of your house and plan your escape route.

Hazard Checklist
Get our fire safety tips for your home.

Smoke Alarm Tracker
Smoke alarms are an essential resource in protecting your family, but they are only as good as their batteries. Get our guide to track battery changes and tests.