SFMO’s “Have an Exit Strategy” campaign began after a 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island when 100 people died attending a concert. Smoke and flames engulfed the business after the ceiling caught fire due to the misuse of pyrotechnics. Patrons trampled each other attempting to get to an exit.
SFMO partners with other agencies, colleges, and nonprofits to educate Texans about fire safety rules, and to ensure that all properties have clearly marked and freely accessible exits.
During a fire, every second counts
Own a business? Make sure that all exits are always clearly marked and accessible on your properties.
- Make sure employees have an exit strategy they can execute in the event of a fire.
- Review the strategy with staff regularly and update it based on business needs, including the number of patrons visiting your venue and the type of event.
- Follow all local ordinances for building capacity limits.
- Have your sprinklers, extinguishers, smoke alarms, and other fire safety equipment inspected regularly and maintained according to guidelines.
Out for the night? Make your safety and that of your friends, family, and colleagues a priority when visiting a business.
- Whenever you enter a public place, learn where the exits are located. Try to find two exits you can clearly navigate in the event of a fire.
- If you see that an exit is blocked, padlocked, or not clearly marked, tell the manager or staff.
- If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you can get through the doorways.
- If you think your safety is in danger due to issues with exits or potential fire hazards, you should leave.
- Report potential fire safety violations to SFMO and to the local fire department.
When you’re at home: Make sure you have an escape plan to get out quickly. Find at least two ways to get out of each room you visit in the event of a fire.
- Make sure your windows are not stuck, that screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
- Do not block doorways or windows with items like clothes, toys, furniture, or other belongings that may get in the way.
- Have carbon monoxide and smoke alarms installed on every floor in your home.
Exit Strategy Resources and Partners
Resources for fire safety planning:
- TDI’s consumer tips
- Make a Home Fire Escape Plan (USFA)
- Learn Your Building’s Emergency Evacuation Plan (USFA)
- Hotel Fire Safety (Video)
- How to Pick a Safe Dorm or Apartment (Video)
We would like to thank our partners in effort for their help and guidance:
- Texas Fire Chiefs Association
- State Firefighter's and Fire Marshals' Association
- Texas State Association of Fire Fighters
- The Lower Colorado River Authority
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts (SAFE-D)
To learn more about the “Have an Exit Strategy” initiative, to find out how you and your company or organization can get involved, or to order materials, contact: Fire.Marshal@tdi.texas.gov.