Do you have a fire safety plan for your family?
An easy way to protect your family from a fire in your home is for you create your own fire safety plan. Schools have them, offices and companies have them, so why not home?
A home fire safety plan is not a legal requirement, but it is a very useful way to ensure you and all your family know what to do in the event of a fire in your home. It’s also a great opportunity to look at your home with ‘fire safety’ in mind, so you can make sure that your home is as safe as possible.
It should answer questions such as;
- Will the kids stay in place and who will collect them?
- Which way will we leave?
How to make your escape plan
- The best route is the normal way you come in and out of your home.
- Plan a second route in case the first one is blocked – consider windows.
- Take a few minutes to practice your escape plan regularly.
- Keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them – on hooks behind curtains or boxes on windowsills perhaps.
- If you have additional security gates or shutters, make sure they can be easily opened from the inside without a key in a fire.
- If you – or anyone you live with – might find it difficult to escape quickly without assistance in an emergency, make extra plans to get them to safety. Your local fire service can assist with this and you could book a free home fire safety visit for extra expert advice.
- Make sure everyone in your home understands what to do in a fire. Remember to keep visitors in the know, too.
Firefighter’s tips for safe escapes
- Make sure everyone in your home knows – and has practiced! – the escape route.
- If any of your smoke alarms go off, never assume it is a false alarm.
- Shout ‘FIRE’ to alert others in the home.
- Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables – remember, get out, stay out and shut the doors behind you.
- Call 999 as soon as you are safe to do so.
- Don’t try and tackle fires yourself. Leave it to the fire service – as soon as you make the call, they will get on their way.
- Try and keep calm, and close 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.
- Never go back into the building once you are safely outside.
What if your escape route is blocked?
If you can’t get out, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and 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: ‘HELP, FIRE’.
- If you have a phone with you, call 999 – 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. Don’t jump – use soft materials to cushion your fall, and lower yourself down carefully.