20 Free Online Tools To Help Your Family Develop A Fire Safety Plan

The statistics about home fires in America are shocking. Even though four out of five fire deaths occur in the home, only one-fourth of families have a fire safety plan that they practice on a regular basis. The idea of losing someone you love in a fire is unthinkable to all of us. Protect those you love by preventing fires, preparing for the worst, and practicing a home fire safety plan. These websites all offer free online tools and resources to help your family achieve this.

  1. Sparky the Fire Dog
    The Sparky the Fire Dog website, sponsored by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), is designed for kids and their families to learn about fire safety and prevention. Free downloads include an escape planning grid and a home safety checklist. There are also pages about real families who have successfully completed a home escape plan and checked their homes for fire hazards.
  2. City of Phoenix Fire Escape Resource
    The City of Phoenix has excellent resources for developing a family escape plan on their website. It includes step-by-step instructions for creating an escape plan as well as a free downloadable brochure that you can print out for future reference.
  3. The Home Safety Council
    The Home Safety Council’s website includes many ways to make your home safer, such as fall prevention, childproofing, poisoning prevention, and of course fire safety. The “Step-By-Step Fire Drill” page has photos of each step, including instructions for practicing fire drills at home. Members (membership is free) of the site can download a Home Fire Escape Plan worksheet.
  4. USFA.dhs.Gov
    Did you know that kids under the age of 5 are twice as likely to die in a fire as older children and adults? That’s why the U.S. Fire Administration produced a special campaign for parents of babies and toddlers. The free downloadable materials on this site have special advice for creating a family fire escape plan when you have young children to think about. The materials include a fire escape grid for you to use in planning.
  5. Univ. of Oklahoma Police Dept
    The University of Oklahoma Police Department has created this excellent fire safety education website. Packed with information about the causes of home fires and strategies for getting out safely, the site also has advice for creating a fire safety plan. Learn what “EDITH” is, and why it is one of the best things you can do to keep your family safe.
  6. Children Today
    This outstanding article contains a step-by-step plan for getting your family from the home safely. Using stories of real kids who helped their families get out of a fire, the article highlights the need for practice, prevention, and preparation. The article includes a home fire safety checklist.
  7. US Consumer Product Safety Commission
    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has prepared this sixteen-page home fire safety checklist. It is packed with information about fire prevention in each area of your home. Also included are instructions for developing a fire safety plan.
  8. Fire Safety Council
    Download this free two-page PDF file from the Fire Safety Council for the most basic information you need for creating a family escape plan in the event of fire. It has a simple seven-step plan as well as a grid for drawing a floor plan and exit map of your home.
  9. Colorado State University
    For homes located in rural areas, this Colorado State University webpage gives specialized advice. Learn ways to keep your home safe in the event of a forest fire, and how to prevent fire damage before a fire begins. They give tips on how to create a disaster survival kit for your family as well as an evacuation plan.
  10. Red Cross
    The American Red Cross stresses preparedness in its free fire safety flyer. Learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher as well as strategies for practicing home safety drills. The flyer also reminds you how to exit a home properly in case there is a fire.
  11. Emergency Dude
    “Emergency Dude” provides advice for surviving many different disasters, including a house fire. His preparation checklist includes keeping a flashlight and handkerchief next to the bed at all times. In addition, he provides ways to teach the whole family about the dangers of fire and how to exit the home in multiple ways.
  12. What Happens Now Games
    Four times every minute, a fire department is called to respond to a fire somewhere in America. If your family doesn’t have an action plan, you should check out this free video from WhatHappensNow.com. It demonstrates fun games you can play with your family to simulate getting out during a fire.
  13. What Happens Now Checklists
    This helpful page on the WhatHappensNow website includes checklists for creating a fire escape plan, making a list of emergency contacts, and drawing an exit route map. In addition, it includes home inventory forms to be filled out in advance as well as instruction from a firefighter on how to use a fire extinguisher.
  14. NFPA
    The NFPA’s website has advice on creating different types of family fire escape plans. It includes a free downloadable flyer that you can keep in your home as a reminder. In addition, there is material related to planning for a fire if you live in a tall or high-rise building.
  15. Fire Dept of New York
    The Fire Department of New York’s downloads page includes information on creating a family escape plan, as well as many other aspects of fire safety. What is remarkable about this page is that the documents are all available in multiple languages. While not each flyer is in each language, most have been translated into English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Creole, Urdu, Italian, and even Yiddish.
  16. Staying Alive
    Staying Alive is a Canadian website devoted to educating kids about fire safety and prevention. The site includes “The Great Escape,” a fun Flash game in which you can guide the Fire Lobster out of the home by making smart decisions. There is also a page about creating home escape plans. In addition, there are free downloads of typical house plans that you can print out and customize with your own escape routes.
  17. FireSafety.gov
    FireSafety.gov gives clear and easily understandable directions on creating your own family fire escape plan. One item of note is that special consideration should be given to windows with security bars. Newer security bars should all have devices attached that allow them to be opened quickly in case of fire. A fire escape grid is also available to download from this website.
  18. Federal Citizen Information Center
    Another good resource for family fire safety planning is provided by the Federal Citizen Information Center. The page focuses on the hazards of fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide. A large section of the page is devoted to the importance of not only having a family fire safety plan, but also practicing it at least twice a year.
  19. BeFireSmart.com
    BeFireSmart.com is a free website created by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Geared toward parents, children, and educators, it combines instructional videos on making a family fire safety plan with interactive games such as “Find the Fire Hazards.”
  20. Scholastic.com
    Scholastic’s fire safety lesson plan for grade K-2 teachers contains 18 different free, reproducible pages related to fire prevention, safety, and creating a home fire escape plan. So why wouldn’t parents want this great material, too? The lessons and worksheets were developed in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association.