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Just minutes to escape: Do you have an emergency plan for your family?

According to the Red Cross, if there's a fire in your home, you may have as little as two minutes to escape.

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Do you have a plan if there's an emergency in your home, like the explosion and fire that happened in Gaithersburg?

According to the Red Cross, you may have as little as two minutes to escape, if there's a fire.

That's why it's so important to have a plan for you and your family. 

First, you need an escape plan. This will help you prepare in case their is an emergency. Fire experts say you should try and find at least two ways to get out of your apartment. This can be a door, or a window, any safe way to exit. 

If you live in a high-rise apartment building, know the locations of all exits on your floor.

When you leave, close all doors behind you. Experts say this helps cut off oxygen to the fire, and will help keep it from spreading as fast.

If you live in an apartment building, do not use the elevator, use the stairs. 

The Red Cross recomends practicing your fire escape plan twice a year. 

Second, create a meeting place for you and your family once your out. This will help you figure out if anyone is missing.

Now here's something you can do to be prepared. Check to make sure you have smoke detectors installed. it's recommended that you have one on each level of your home. Consider putting one in each of the bedrooms. Test them monthly and replace the batteries or them twice a year. 

A good reminder is when you change the clocks for daylight saving time, change out those smoke detector batteries.

Another thing you can do is close your bedroom door when you go to sleep. According to Close Before You Doze, closing your bedroom door when you to sleep, if there's a fire, can help keep it from spreading as fast. 

If you can't get out during a fire, get behind a closed door and call 911. It's recommended you stuff wet towels or sheets around the doors and vents to keep the smoke out. 

Then, call the fire department and let them know where you are, and wave bright cloth out the window to show them where you are.

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