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Make a clear escape plan
- The best route is the normal way in and out of your home
- Wherever possible, plan a second route in case the first one is blocked
- Take a few minutes to practise it regularly
- Keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them
- Ensure security gates can be easily opened from the inside without the need for a key
- If anyone in the home is slow to react or has mobility issues, adapt the plan to suit their needs. Mobility aids and any methods of calling for help should always be kept close to hand (e.g. mobile phone/link alarm or pendant)
- Make sure the way in and out of your home is kept clear of anything that may slow down or block your escape. This includes white goods such as freezers
- Review your plan if your circumstances change.
What to do if there is a fire within your home
- If any of your smoke alarms go off, never assume it is a false alarm
- Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables
- Don’t tackle fires yourself, many people are injured this way. Leave it to the professionals
- Keep calm and get out, closing 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
- Call 999 as soon as it is safe to do so
- Never go back into the building once you are safely outside.
What to do if your escape route is blocked
- If you can’t get out, find a safe room away from fire, ideally one with a window that opens and access to 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
- If you have a phone with you, call 999 and ask for the fire brigade. 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. Use soft materials to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully. Don’t jump.
To protect you and your family, it’s essential that your home has working smoke alarms that are regularly tested.