If you have a fire in your home – get out, stay out, call 999. See Calling 999 for more guidance.
Raise the alarm. Let everyone in the house know about the fire. Shout and get everyone together if it’s safe to do so.
Get everyone out. You should have an escape route planned and everyone in the house should be familiar with it. Remember:
- Don’t delay to save valuables or look for pets.
- Don’t investigate the fire.
- If there’s a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor – smoke rises, and the cleanest air is nearest the floor.
- Before you open any doors, feel them with the back of your hand. If they’re warm, the fire is likely to be the other side, so don’t open them.
- As you leave, only open the doors you need to use and close any that may allow the fire to spread.
If your escape route is blocked:
- If you’re on the ground floor, go out of a window. Throw bedding or cushions to break your fall if necessary.
- If you can’t open a window, use a heavy object to break the glass at the bottom corner. If you can, use clothing, a towel or bedding to cover the edges.
- Lower children as far as possible before letting them drop. Get an adult to break their fall if you can.
- Lower yourself by your arms from the window ledge before dropping.
If you can’t get out at all, get everyone into one room, ideally one with a window:
- Close the door and put cushions, towels or bedding along the bottom to prevent smoke from getting through.
- Open the window for fresh air and to attract the attention of firefighters when they arrive.
If your clothes catch fire – stop, drop and roll:
- Don’t run around. This will only fan the flames and make them burn faster.
- Lie down, as this makes it harder for the fire to spread and reduces the effect of flames on your face and head.
- Smother the flames by covering them with a heavy material, such as a coat or blanket.
- Roll around to smother the flames.
Don’t go back into the building – if someone is still inside, wait for the Fire and Rescue Service to arrive and tell them how to find the missing person. Firefighters have the right safety equipment and have been trained to carry out a rescue. If you go back inside, you are putting yourself at risk and the firefighters will have someone else to try and help.
When you call 999, try and stay calm so you can give the call handler all of the information they need. If someone is still inside the property, say so. Make sure the address you give is correct, especially if access is from a different road.
First Aid – good first aid following a burn or scald can make an enormous difference in recovery times and the severity of scarring.
A burn injury is for life. The scars are physical as well as psychological, and can present life-long challenges for the individual and their families. What many people don’t know is that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable, and the majority of injuries occur as a result of an accident that could so easily have been prevented.
COOL, CALL, COVER
- Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound)
- Call for help – 999, 111 or local GP for advice
- Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth.
- Make sure the patient is kept warm
The NHS have lots of great advice on what to do with different types of burn or scalds www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Burns-and-scalds