London Fire Brigade

Escaping from a fire

If a fire starts inside your home the most important thing to remember is to get out, stay out and call 999 as soon as it is safe to do so.

We have different advice if you live in a purpose-built flat or maisonette.

Don't try to tackle the fire yourself; you could put yourself and others in danger. The sooner you call us, the sooner our help can be on the way.

Our figures show there was a delay of 10 minutes or more from the time of a fire starting to the time the Brigade was called in nearly half of all fire deaths in 2015/16.

Always make sure you have an escape plan in place and ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in an emergency. Practise it regularly and have a secondary escape plan just in case your original plan is blocked.

If you discover a fire in your home, make sure you alert everyone in your household and close any doors behind you as you make your way out. This will help to slow the spread of fire and smoke through the property.

Get out, stay out and call 999

Remember to keep low if there's smoke and always check doors with the back of your hand before opening them. If it is hot, there could be a fire on the other side.

Always keep door and window keys where everyone can find them and make sure the way in and out of your home is clear of clutter and obstacles.

Do not waste time rescuing valuables and never go back into a building once you are safely outside. Get out, stay out and call 999.

If you live in a purpose-built maisonette or a block of flats, your escape plan needs to be slightly different.

What to do if your escape is blocked

If you can't get out, find a safe room away from fire - ideally one with a window that opens. Close the door and put bedding or any soft materials around the bottom to block the smoke coming underneath.

If you have a phone, call 999 and ask for the fire brigade. Be prepared 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 the window. Use soft materials to cushion your fall and always lower yourself down carefully, don't jump.

If you’re higher up or if you don’t have access to a phone, open the window and shout for help.

Book a Home Fire Safety Visit

Our firefighters will visit you in your home and offer you bespoke advice tailored to your property to help keep you safer. You may also be eligible to have free smoke alarms fitted.



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