Quiz: Are You Prepared for a House Fire?

Having a fire escape plan and knowing how fast to evacuate can save your family during an emergency

Mary Jo DiLonardo Home December 22, 2014

family watching fire

This fire safety quiz tests your knowledge on everything from smoke alarms to fire extinguishers, escape plans and what to grab when you’re racing out the door.

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sleeping lady

Question 1 of 11 Score: 0

For fire safety reasons, it's best to sleep with your door:

Keeping your door closed will protect you from smoke or fire on the other side of the door. But it can also keep smoke from inside the bedroom from reaching the smoke alarm in the hall. If you sleep with your door shut — especially if you smoke in your room — it’s smart to have a smoke detector inside your bedroom too.

sleeping dog

Question 2 of 11 Score: 0

The only thing you should grab when leaving a burning home is:

As much as you want to go searching for your dog or cat, your only focus should be getting yourself and your human family out safely. Leave pet rescue to firefighters, who are trained and have the right equipment to rescue pets. Let them know how many animals you have and where they are likely to hide.

door knob

Question 3 of 11 Score: 0

What should you do with the doors as you leave your house?

Closing doors will slow smoke and fire from spreading. As you leave any room, shut the door behind you. Before you open a door in your house during a fire, feel the door and the doorknob. If either is warm, use another way out.

smoke fire detector

Question 4 of 11 Score: 0

How often should you test your smoke alarms?

Several studies have shown that when you have working smoke alarms, your chance of dying in a fire is cut in half. Don’t test your alarm by lighting a match or a candle under it. Instead, press the test button once a month. If it doesn’t work immediately, replace the smoke alarm right away. Otherwise, replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.


Question 5 of 11 Score: 0

You may have as little as this much time to get out if there's a fire:

Most people think they’d have at least five minutes to get out of the house, but the Red Cross says it may be as little as two minutes. That’s why it’s important to practice fire drills with your family so you have a plan and can get out quickly and stay out.


Question 6 of 11 Score: 0

How often should you change your smoke alarm batteries?

It’s a handy reminder to change your batteries when you change your clocks. Though some smoke detectors are hardwired into the home’s electrical power and may not need to have batteries replaced.

burning toast

Question 7 of 11 Score: 0

When should you take out smoke alarm batteries?

Never take out the batteries in your smoke alarm, even if the alarm is bothering you or you want to borrow the batteries for something else. A smoke alarm without a battery is like not having a smoke alarm. If the alarm goes off and there’s no fire, press the “hush” feature if it has one and open windows to clear the air.

frying chicken

Question 8 of 11 Score: 0

How should you handle a grease fire on your stove?

Adding water will cause the burning oil to splash, spreading the fire even more. Don’t try to carry the pan outside or the burning grease could spill, setting small fires throughout your home. Instead, turn off the burner and cover the pan with a lid or a cookie sheet to smother the fire. A dry chemical fire extinguisher will also do the trick, but it will contaminate your food and make quite a mess.

living area of home

Question 9 of 11 Score: 0

Where should you have smoke alarms?

The main job of smoke detectors is to protect you while you sleep. That’s why they should be located near bedrooms. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends you install them outside each sleeping area — and inside if you can. They should be placed on every level of your home, including the basement.

little boy opening door

Question 10 of 11 Score: 0

How many escape routes should you try to have from each room?

Sit down with your family and make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your house showing all the doors and windows. Try to find two ways out of each room in case one way is blocked by fire or smoke.

fire extinguisher

Question 11 of 11 Score: 0

When should you use a fire extinguisher?

Use a fire extinguisher only when the fire is confined to a small area and isn’t growing. Make sure everyone has left the building and the room isn’t filled with smoke. Even if you think you can control the fire, call the fire department (it’s easy for a fire to get out of hand).

family watching fire

Your Results

You scored out of 11