Fire survival guidance
Nobody wants to experience a fire in their home, and nobody ever wants to be trapped by one. However, should the situation arise where you and your family are awoken in the middle of the night by your smoke alarm, and smoke is beginning to fill the house, there are a number of steps you can take to stay safe.
Fire escape plan
Firstly, every home should have an escape plan in place so that all members of the family know what to do should a fire occur. This plan should outline the escape route you and your family would take and this should be practised regularly as thick smoke can make it difficult to see your way around, even in familiar surroundings.
- Draw up an escape plan so everyone in the house knows what to do if the smoke alarm goes off in the night.
- Establish your route out of the house.
- Include alternative routes in case the way is blocked.
- Make sure everyone knows where to gather once they are out of the house.
Secondly, as well as taking note of our general home fire safety tips to try and prevent a fire in the first place, you should also ensure that all internal doors are closed before going to bed. This can slow down the spread of fire dramatically. It's also important to ensure keys are easily accessible so you can open external doors quickly. We also recommend keeping a phone within easy reach should you need to contact the emergency services.
If you do find yourself in a situation where a fire has broken out within your property, consider the following:
Where is the smoke coming from?
- Consider your closest exit and, if possible, take note of the location of the fire in the property
- If you can vacate the property safely then GET OUT AND STAY OUT
- Make a call to the Fire Service as early as possible, or alert a neighbour to do so on your behalf, and a fire crew will be with you very shortly
- Stand where you can be seen and away from your property
If, due to smoke or flames, you are unable to leave your home, try and stay calm and choose a room that you can go in. Once you're in, shut the door behind you and put blankets or something similar at the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from getting in. If you've not already, use a phone to call 999, or alternatively if you haven't got a phone handy, try opening the window and shouting for help.
You are not alone
Finally, it is important to remember that, in a situation like this, you are not alone. The minute you realise there is a fire in your home and ring 999, you will be put through to one of our calm, professional fire control operators. Each operator is specially trained and they will not only reassure you but give you potentially life-saving advice at the same time.
While they are doing this they will also be finding out as much information from you as possible about the fire and your location, which they will then relay to our highly-skilled firefighters who will already be on their way to help you.
Some of the information they may ask for include:
- Are there others living with you? If so, where are they located?
- Are any of the children or someone with disabilities and do they have the means to escape safely on foot?
- Keep the Control Room Operator updated about where you are located
- Are all doors between you and the fire closed?
- Have you been able to block the smoke from entering underneath by placing bedding, cushions, or any soft furnishings against the bottom of the door?
- Can you open a window so that you are able to breathe in fresh air?
Await the arrival of the fire crew and follow their further instructions calmly Stay on the call to the control room unless told otherwise. They may want to ask additional questions that will help with your safe rescue.