By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The holidays are the perfect time to test those smoke alarms on every level of your home and go over your home escape plan with your family.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says safety is the greatest gift you can give, and taking a minute to show your family how to escape the house in case of fire makes all the difference.

“Draw a map of the home, make sure the windows and doors operate, make sure that you can get outside,” says Ayers. “Make sure your home has smoke alarms and pick a meeting place outside, make sure everyone knows where to go. Do a head count so you can tell the firefighters that everyone is out.”

For parents who worry this drill will make children afraid, Ayers says, “They enjoy it, and when you take the time and show them and let them participate, they’ll love it. Especially the part about drawing a map of your house. They are right into it.”

And while you are shopping, Ayers says smoke alarms make a great stocking stuffer.

You can read more about the fire safety checklist here.

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