What To Do Before a House Fire

August 4, 2020


We get it – parents worry. From the day your child’s born, all you want to do it protect them from life’s hardships. Because of that, the idea of a house fire is terrifying, but knowing how to prepare before a fire occurs can make all the difference. We’ve compiled a list of things you can do before a house fire occurs so that you and your family are prepared in case your worst worst-case scenario becomes a reality.

Establish a Family Evacuation Plan

Get together as a family, and create a family evacuation plan. Every family member should have two different evacuation routes.

#1 – The first route should be the closest and quickest way for that family member to exit the house from their bedroom.

#2 – The second route should be a backup exit plan in case the first route is blocked by fire or fallen debris.

Have every family member practice exiting the house using their designated escape routes.

Finally, you need to establish a family meetup location that is a safe distance away from your house. That way, if a fire does occur, you all know where to meet up to do a headcount and ensure everyone got out of the house safely.

If you have young children, let them fill out this home fire escape planner with your guidance, so that they have an understanding of where they need to go in an emergency. Click here to download the Red Cross’s Home Fire Escape Plan.

Create a Home Inventory

Create a home inventory of everything you own. Make sure you are as detailed as possible with your list, as even the smaller items in your home can add up in value. As you are creating your list, include an approximate value for each item.

We highly recommend creating a home inventory before an unexpected disaster, since it can be difficult to rely on memory alone.

Take Pictures of Your Home

Take pictures of your home so that you have physical evidence of what was in every room in case of a total loss. Make sure you take photos of each room, what’s in your drawers, closets, cabinets, etc. Then, back them up somewhere on the internet, such as Google Photos, so you can still access them if your computer is destroyed in a fire.

Keep Important Documents in One Place

Store all of your important documents in the same location. This would include documents such as:

  • Birth/Death Certificates
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Documents
  • Adoption Documents
  • Wills
  • Medical Records (such as Vaccination Records)
  • Driver’s Licenses
  • Passports
  • Social Security Information
  • Property Deeds
  • Immigration Documents
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Mortgage Papers
  • Savings Bonds
  • Insurance Policies/Papers
  • Account Passwords & Security Information

If possible, store these documents in your bedroom or somewhere you will walk past on your evacuation route, so that you can grab them as you evacuate the house. This can save you hours of time and the massive headache of trying to replace your family’s documents in the event of a house fire.

Consider Investing in a Safe

A safe is a great place to store not only your valuables and important documents, but also any important family mementos or pictures. Having a safe could be the difference between your great, great grandmother’s diamond necklace getting passed down to the next generation – or lost in an unexpected tragedy.

Not only does it protect your valuables from theft if a break-in occurred, but most safes are also fire resistant and can withstand heat, smoke, and water for over 2 hours. By investing in a safe, you can help protect your important documents and family memories from going up in flames. 


Don’t have home insurance? If you want a no-obligation quote, to make sure you’re protected in case of a house fire, CLICK HERE, or contact an Excalibur Defender today. 

Already have home insurance? Make sure your home insurance is up-to-date and covers fire perils! Call your Excalibur Defender today to discuss your coverage.