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Fire safety and holidays

Advice before you leave on holiday

If you're planning a holiday, follow a few simple steps to make sure your house stays safe from fire while you're away.

  • Switch off and unplug unnecessary equipment. Some appliances, such as fridges, freezers and video recorders are designed to be left on, but if you're not sure check the manufacturer's details
  • If you have gas, turn off the supply at the mains unless you have gas powered appliances which need to be left on
  • Turn the water off at the mains. A leak from a water tank or pipe may short out electrical wiring and start a fire
  • Close all the doors and windows. Internal doors are especially important as if a fire breaks out it will slow down the spread
  • Let a neighbour know you are going away and leave a key
  • Check that your smoke alarms are working

Safety while on holiday

While you are on holiday, whether you are staying in a hotel, guesthouse or other accommodation, you will be less familiar with your surroundings than you would be at home. If a fire or other emergency occurred this may cause you to take longer to escape.

Here are some simple points to remember:

  • When you make your reservation ask about their fire safety policy
  • Familiarise yourself with the fire evacuation plan carefully
  • If a fire evacuation plan is not posted in your room, request one from the front desk
  • Make yourself aware of the location of fire alarm call points and exit routes leading from your room
  • Count the number of doors between your room and the exits. This will help you in case you need to evacuate
  • Never smoke in bed

If there is a fire:

  • If the fire is in your room, get out quickly, close the door and sound the alarm
  • If you can, notify the front desk
  • Always use the stairs and not the lifts. A lift could stop at the floor of the fire and let in smoke and flames.
  • If the fire is not in your room, leave if it is safe to do so. Be sure to take your room key with you in case fire blocks your escape and you need to re-enter your room. Don't try to pick up valuables or possessions on the way - belongings can be replaced, lives cannot
  • Before leaving your room touch the door with the back of your hand to test the temperature. If the door is cool it is unlikely there is a fire outside but there could still be thick toxic smoke.
  • To open the door, crouch low, brace your shoulder against the door and open it slowly. Be ready to close it quickly if there are flames on the other side. If there is smoke, keep low and crawl to the nearest exit as the freshest air is near the floor
  • If your room door is hot, do not open it. Seal the door with wet towels or sheets.
  • If you have access to a telephone, call the fire service on 999 (or 112 in the EU) and clearly state the address of the fire
  • Signal from your window for help and make as much noise as possible to raise the alarm

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