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Home fire action plan

If a fire starts inside your home you need to:

  • Get out
  • Stay out
  • Call 999 as soon as it is safe to do so

Do you know how you would escape in an emergency?

An escape plan could save your life in an emergency. In a smoky, scary atmosphere, it's easy to freeze, panic and become disorientated.

By planning and practising how you'll escape with the whole family, you can be more confident about a safe escape.

This is especially important if you (or someone in your home) might find it difficult to escape quickly without assistance.


Contents


How to make your escape plan

  • The best route is the normal way you come in and out of your home
  • Plan a second route in case the first one is blocked – consider windows
  • Take a few minutes to practice your escape plan regularly
  • Keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them – on hooks behind curtains or boxes on window sills perhaps
  • If you have additional security gates or shutters, make sure they can be easily opened from the inside without a key in a fire
  • If you – or anyone you live with – might find it difficult to escape quickly without assistance in an emergency, make extra plans to get them to safety, and book a free home fire safety visit for extra expert advice
  • Make sure everyone in your home understands what to do in a fire. Remember to keep visitors in the know, too.

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Our tips for safe escapes

  • Make sure everyone in your home knows – and has practised – the escape route
  • If any of your smoke alarms go off, never assume it is a false alarm
  • Shout 'FIRE' to alert others in the home
  • Don't waste time investigating what's happened or rescuing valuables – remember: get out, stay out and shut the doors behind you
  • Call 999 as soon as you are safe to do so
  • Don't try and tackle fires yourself. Leave it to the professionals – as soon as you make the call, we'll be on our way.
  • Try and keep calm, and close doors behind you to slow down the spread of fire and smoke
  • Before you open a door, check if it's warm with the back of your hand. If it is, don't open it – there may be a fire on the other side
  • If there's smoke, keep low where the air is clearer
  • Never go back into the building once you are safely outside.

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What if your escape route is blocked?

  • If you can't get out, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone. Close the door, and put bedding or any soft materials around the bottom of the door to block the smoke, then open the window and shout for help: 'HELP, FIRE'
  • If you have a phone with you, call 999 – be ready to describe where you are and the quickest way to reach you. If you're on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through a window. Don't jump – use soft materials to cushion your fall, and lower yourself down carefully.

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What to do if someone's clothes catch fire

If clothes have caught fire, don't run. Try and remember 'stop, drop, roll' – which means:

  1. Stop – don't run, you'll make the flames worse
  2. Drop – lie down on the ground at once
  3. Roll – in heavy fabric or a fire blanket to smother the flames, though just on the ground will help

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Need help making your escape plan?

Find out more about our home fire safety visits – we can visit you at home, fit any extra smoke alarms you need for free, and work out an escape plan with you.