We don’t know when, or even if a fire will break out but we can take steps now to prevent injury or death. Follow these guidelines to make your own fire action plan and increase your chances in a fire.
Plan together now
- Take everyone into account
- Make your fire action plan with everyone in your household, especially children and elderly or disabled people
- Decide on an additional route, in case the normal one is blocked. Keep all escape routes clear.
Your best escape route is the normal way in and out of your home
- Decide on a different route as well, in case the normal one is blocked
- Keep all escape routes clear
Tell everyone in your household where you keep the door and window keys
- You can be safe as well as secure if you make sure that anyone who needs to get out in an emergency can easily open doors and windows
When its safer to stay in your room
- If your escape route is blocked it may be safer to stay put and protect yourself until the fire brigade arrives
- Find a suitable room now. Choose one with a window that opens and if possible a phone so you can call 999.
- If the stairs in a block of flats are blocked by fire or smoke don’t use the lift. Stay calm and go back inside your flat – it’s designed to keep fire out.
Fit smoke alarms on each floor level of your home
- If you don’t have a working smoke alarm your chances of survival are almost zero
- Test your alarms every week and replace the batteries at least once a year or every 10 years on sealed models
- If your smoke alarms keep going off, do not disconnect them. Ask the Fire Service about the best place to fit them or to check if they are of a suitable type for the area to be covered.
Keep doors closed at night
- Helps delay the spread of fire and smoke
- Switch off unneeded electrical devices
- Check gas appliances and put a spark guard in front of open fires.
- Put out cigarettes and candles properly
- Always keep matches and lighters away from children
If there’s a fire raise the alarm
- If your alarm goes off while you are asleep, do not investigate. Shout to wake everyone up, get everyone together and follow your plan and get out.
- Check doors with the back of the hand – if it is warm do not open it – the fire may be on the other side
- If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along with your nose near the floor where the air is cleaner
Escaping from a window
- If you are on the ground or first floor level you may be able to escape from a window
- If you have to break the glass cover any jagged edges with towels or thick bedding
- Throw more bedding out of the window to break your fall
- Do not jump – lower yourself down to arms length and drop
- If you have any children or elderly or disabled people with you plan the order you will escape in so that you can help them down
Don’t go back inside your home
- Call the Fire Service from a mobile phone, a neighbour’s house or phone box
- Give an accurate address of the fire
- Don’t stop or go back inside for anything
Follow this simple advice:
Get out, call the Fire Service out, and stay out
What to do if your escape route is blocked
- Get everyone into one room and close the door
- Put bedding, clothing or towels along the bottom of the door to seal the gap
- Open the window and stay near it for fresh air and to let the firefighters see you
- Phone the Fire Service if you can, or shout for help so that someone else can phone for you
Practice the plan
- Knowing what to do and acting quickly will save lives
- Regularly take a few minutes to ‘walk’ the escape route with everyone in the household and check that everyone can unlock and open doors and windows easily
- Review your plan regularly, especially if you make changes to your home. Take special account of periods of decorating when furniture and fittings are moved about.