The 5-Minute Prepper #1: How to Prepare for a House Fire

Did you know that once a fire has grown bigger than the average trash can, you’re unlikely to be able to stop it from spreading? If you’re unfamiliar with how fast a fire can spread, check out the video below. (It’s shocking!)

As you can see, if your home catches fire, you won’t have time to grab anything except what you have prepared to grab, like your Home Escape Bag.

Large, destructive disasters that make headlines are typically among the reasons we decide to become better prepared, yet we’re more likely to deal with many “everyday emergencies.” These everyday emergencies are personal disasters—sometimes small, sometimes big, but they definitely upset our lives. Typically, they don’t affect anyone other than ourselves and possibly our immediate families.

You are far more likely to be in a car accident or have your home catch fire than you are to be in earthquakes, terror attacks, tornadoes, and other things we think of as a typical disaster.

Today’s 5-minute tip is all about how to prepare for a home fire.

Right now, make sure you have the following in your home and that these items are in working condition:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Escape ladders

Go check your smoke carbon monoxide detectors right now—and if you don’t have them, go install some. Also check your fire extinguishers: are they still pressurized, and does everyone in the family know how to operate them?

Next, have a family meeting and make sure that everyone in the family knows how to escape. Set up a prearranged meeting place, like by the mailbox out on the street or at the neighbor’s gate. Finally, set up a drill to test your ability to get out and go to the correct place, and repeat this drill on a regular basis.


Rob Hanus is the author of “The Preparedness Capability Checklist: A Planning and Evaluation Tool for Becoming More Self-Reliant,” an easy-to-read book that offers the absolute best method for intelligent and deliberate prepping. Rob is also host of the Preparedness Podcast.


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This post was written by Marjory Wildcraft


  • Paul says:

    Great article. Fires happen all the time, and they do spread very quickly.

    If your home has a monitored alarm system, consider calling the alarm company and requesting smoke and/or heat detectors. Most systems can add them to the panel. This will give you additional warning as they generally sound through the alarm siren with a different tone. Also, if these devices are activated, the alarm company will automatically call the Fire Department for you. This will shorten the time the fire can spread before the Fire Fighters arrive.

    1. Major Robert D. Cole (USA-Ret) says:

      I agree with your comment about smoke detectors. My house has wired-in detectors all over; but, when I installed a security system I added two monitored smoke/heat detectors.

  • JJM says:

    OK – It is a valid warning, ESPECIALLY if you fill your areas with highly flammable dry evergreen and plastics (see the melted plastic on flame falling to the floor?).

  • Ron E Bowman says:

    This is a brand new Patriot Protest Song, with emphasis on The Economic Collapse. I made a long version & a shorter version for “air play”. I made this You Tube Wednesday night July24, 2013:
    Mouse Trap by The Whistleblowers
    We are from Florida where the Stand Your Ground law is under attack. This is going viral in Tallahassee and soon the entire State & Country.
    This is original material all copyrighted and written by me. It is fresh off the grill. I’m giving you permission to use this song anyway you choose. My intent is to share & spread the truth. Below is the Cloud link that contains the audio of the short & long version:
    Please give this a listen. It will be worth your time.
    Thank you,
    Ron E Bowman bowm04@yahoo.com
    Navarre, FL

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Ron,

      Hey thanks for the song. I am not sure what to do with it 0bt I’ll keep in in mind. I enjoyed the rhythm and the lyrics.

  • Major Robert D. Cole (USA-Ret) says:

    Hey Ron,

    Great video…liked the guitar riffs too.

    Bob Cole

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