A fire in the home can be extremely dangerous and the situation can worsen very quickly, so time is critical. In the event of a fire, follow these steps:

  • Raise the alarm and get out.
  • Do not stop to investigate the fire or to collect valuables or pets.
  • Use your escape route to get everyone out and meet at an agreed point.
  • Close any doors which are open, and only open the doors you need to go through. This will help to stop the fire spreading so rapidly.
  • Check doors with the back of your hand. If a door is warm, don’t open it, the fire is on the other side. If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor as the air is cleaner.
  • Once you’ve got everyone out of the building, call 999 from any phone. Give the operator your name and address.
  • Don’t go back into the building for anything. If there is still someone inside, tell firefighters when they arrive - they will be able to find the person quicker and more safely than you.
  • Find somewhere safe to wait for the Fire Brigade.
  • When they arrive, try to give them as much information as possible about the fire and building.

I can only escape through a window, what do I do?

  • Only try and escape through a window if you are on the ground or first floor, and your escape route is blocked.
  • If you have to break the window, cover jagged glass with towels or thick bedding.
  • Throw bedding or other soft materials onto the floor below the window to break your fall.
  • Don’t jump out of the window – lower yourself down to arms length and drop to the ground.
  • If you have any children, elderly or disabled people in the home, plan the order you will escape in so that you can help them down.

What do I do if my clothes catch fire?

  • Don’t run around - you’ll fan the flames and make them burn faster.
  • Lie down and roll around to smother the flames.
  • Smother the flames with heavy material like a coat, blanket or fire blanket.

What do I do if I live in high rise flats?

  • High rise flats are built to be fireproof, and walls, ceilings and doors will hold back flames and smoke. If there’s a fire elsewhere in the building you’re usually safer staying in your flat unless heat or smoke is affecting you.
  • If there is a fire in your flat, set off the fire alarm and leave the building. Bang on doors on your way out to alert others.
  • If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air will be clearer.
  • If you live in a building with a lift, do not use it if there is a fire, go down the stairs instead.
  • Call 999 from any phone. Give them the address including the number of your flat, and tell them which floor the fire is on.

What if I can’t get out?

  • Get everyone into one room, preferably one with a window that opens and that has a phone in it. Close the door and wait to be rescued.
  • Put bedding or towels along the bottom of the door to seal the gap, to prevent smoke and fumes from getting into the room.
  • Open the window and stay near it for fresh air, and to alert firefighters when they arrive.
  • If you have a phone, call the fire brigade. If you don’t have a phone, shout for help so that someone else can phone for you.