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.
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 round, even in familiar surroundings.
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.
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 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.
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.