Planning a safe escape from your home

Do you know what you would do if your smoke alarm went off during the night? Take a look at planning a safe escape from your home by following the steps below.

Be prepared by making a plan of escape by:

• Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to escape

• Make sure exits are kept clear

• Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them

• The best route is the normal route in and out of your home

• Think of a second route in case the first one should become blocked

• Take a few minutes to practice your escape plan

• Review your plan if the layout of your home changes

• Close internal doors at night, as these can help to stop a fire from spreading

What to do if there is a fire

• Don’t tackle fires yourself. Leave it to the Fire Service

• Keep calm and act quickly. Get everyone out as soon as possible

• Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables

• If there is smoke, keep low where the air is clearer. Before you open a door, check if it’s warm. If it is, don’t open it – the fire is on the other side

• Call 999 and report the fire as soon as you are clear of the building

• Do not return to your home until instructed by the Fire Service

What to do if your escape is blocked

• If you can’t get out, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone

• Put bedding or similar around the bottom of the door to block out the smoke. Phone 999 for the Fire Service or, if there is no phone, open the window and call “HELP! FIRE!”

• If you’re on the ground floor, you may be able to escape through a window

• Use bedding or something similar to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully

• If you can’t open the window, break the glass in the bottom corner. Make jagged edges safe with towels or blankets

What to do if your clothes catch fire

• Don’t run around, you’ll make the flames worse

• Lie down and roll around, it makes it harder for the fire to spread

• Smother the flames with a heavy material, like a coat or blanket