How to Survive in and Escape from an Attic 2022


Afraid you might find yourself stuck in an attic and not know what to do? Be prepared, with this helpful article.


1An attic can be dangerously hot on a summer day, So, take care to stay out of the heat as much as possible while you work on getting out of the attic.

Generally, stay low and look for a space fresh air is entering. Often, it enters at the eaves and escapes, hotter, at vents higher up.

Watch where you'd escape to. Don't escape to a long drop to the ground or an interior floor; instead, attract attention and be rescued.

2Look around for the attic entrance, typically a small panel or staircase. Pick up and set aside a loose panel, or swing a door or staircase down.

Until you've tried this, you're just in an attic, not really stuck in an attic.

Some attics may have doors into other rooms, or onto a roof.

3Look for a light switch to turn on so you can see what you're doing, and so (particularly at night) others may notice your presence by light escaping from the attic.

4If you have a cell phone or other communication device, call for help.

5Tap several times on the beams and the roof to attract attention. Use something hard to do the tapping, preferably. Do this every so often.

6If you are feeling weak or sick you should do something quickly to avoid collapsing and cooking.

7Look for a spot in the ceiling made of soft material only, such as sheet rock (generally the whole ceiling in a house is made of it) or wood strips and plaster. Shift insulation out of the way if possible and stomp or otherwise strike it to break it. Hold onto something so you don't fall through before checking what is underneath. This will open a hole to the room underneath. See what is down there before dropping through.

If the attic has a wall leading to an interior top-level room or an entrance to the roof, try to break that as well.

8Alternatively, pop out a vent or grill to admit fresh air and attract attention, or escape through it if you must.

It may be possible to pop out a nailed-on wooden panel. The ones on the ends of a typical roof are probably easier to hit squarely and less securely attached. Do not strike a surface with nails poking through it. Take care not to throw yourself out after the panel.

9Use a tool to escape if you have it and help is not coming. If you have a saw, you could even cut a hole (careful, you don't want to be trapped in an attic injured).