In a fire, there is no time to stop and think. You need to know in advance the two quickest safe ways out of your apartment and your building. Every apartment should have at least two means of egress. The main door way is one, but when looking for an apartment, be sure that there is another way to exit, and that the routes are secure, safe, and intact.
It is critical that you make and practice escape plans. Draw up floor plans and evacuation procedures for each floor with exits clearly marked, and post them in a conspicuous place for yourself and your guests to utilize. Once you have mapped an evacuation plan, decide on a meeting place outdoors. Go there as soon as you exit the building and stay there. This way, you can keep track of who is out and who may be trapped inside. If you think someone is trapped, tell the fire department. Do not go back in the building yourself.
Practice. Rehearse your escape plan as a group. Make sure everyone knows the right thing to do when an emergency situation arises.