Exit Drills in the Home (EDITH)

Performing Exit Drills in the Home (EDITH) can help you and your family prepare for an emergency. Most home fires occur at night when people are the least prepared. If you and your family have not practiced how to escape during an emergency, home fires can become a disaster.

How to Design Your Fire Escape Plan

To design your own fire escape plan, sketch the floor plan of your home on a piece of paper. Your plan should include all doors, windows and other areas from which you could escape from each room in your home. Draw arrows to indicate the normal exits which would be your primary escape route. With an alternate color, draw arrows to indicate a secondary exit from each room in the home. Make sure to include your meeting place.
Fire Escape Drill

Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you have designed your plan, test it to make sure it works. Make sure to run through the drills on a regular basis. Regular exit drills in the home will allow you to test the plan and make adjustments as needed. When practicing your exit drills in the home, remember to use alternate escape routes as well. Make sure that your children know what to do during the drill - this will help them to know what to do in a true emergency.


Everyone should know the location of telephones in the home and where to find a telephone outside of the home (a neighbors house). It is very important that children also know the 911 phone number in order to report a fire or other emergencies to authorities.

Special Needs

People with physical or mental handicaps face greater risks during a fire emergency. People with special needs should
sleep in a bedroom near someone who can help in the event of an emergency. A physically handicapped person may
require a sleeping area on the ground floor. Design a special escape plan based on the abilities of the person.

Additional Tips

View Additional Tips (PDF) on planning your escape plan.