Having a planned escape route could be the difference between life and death in the event of a fire.
Choosing an escape route
The best escape route is the normal way in and out of your home. However, you should:
- Think of any difficulties you may have getting out – for example, you might need a torch to light your way at night;
- Identify an alternative escape route if the first one isn’t safe;
- Keep all exits clear of obstructions; and
- Make sure everyone in the property knows how to get out – and be clear on who might need help.
Things to remember
- Make sure everyone in the property knows where door and window keys are kept.
- A plan will only work if everyone knows about it and knows what they have to do – so practise.
- If your children are young, it might be helpful to put your full address on a label near the phone so they can read it out when calling 999.
When you are asleep, it takes longer to become aware of the signs of fire. If you don’t have working smoke alarms, you may not even know there’s a fire until it’s too late. A simple bedtime routine will help make things safer.
- Close all internal doors at night to stop any fire from spreading.
- Check the cooker is turned off.
- Turn off and unplug any electrical appliance that isn’t designed to be left on all the time (such as a fridge or freezer).
- Make sure any candles and cigarettes are fully extinguished.
- Turn off any portable heaters.
- If you have a real fire, make sure there is a fireguard in front of the grate.
- Make sure exits are clear and door/window keys are where they should be.
- Tell any guests how to escape in the event of a fire.