Although a smoke alarm should warn you when there is a fire, you still need to get your family out. Does everyone in your family know what to do, how to get out of the house and where to go?
A home fire escape plan is especially important because recent reports have shown that smoke alarms may not wake up many sleeping children.
As part of your home fire escape plan, you should figure out two ways to escape from each part of your home. This is important because your most obvious exit may be blocked by the fire. Do you have a ladder to get out of second floor windows?
Making a drawing of your plan may be helpful for younger kids.
You should also have a plan for how each family member is going to get out. While older children and teens can likely be responsible for their own escape, younger kids, elderly family members and anyone with a disability may need help escaping. Designating a 'buddy' to give assistance to those who need it can help to make sure that everyone gets out safely.
Lastly, plan a place outside the home where everyone is supposed to meet once they get out.
The National Fire Protection Association offers detailed information on setting up a home fire escape plan for your family, including basic fire escape planning, tips for people living in apartment buildings, and how to make sure your kids are safe when they sleepover at a friends home.