In the event of a fire
If the smoke alarm goes off or you discover a fire in your home, shout to wake everyone up/alert them and get everyone together. Follow your escape plan and get out of the building.
It is also important to read our guidance on what to do if you can’t escape.
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.
Escaping from a window
- You should only try and escape through a window if 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 out.
Escaping from fires in flats and maisonettes
If you live in a flat or maisonette please follow this extra advice.
- Flats and maisonettes are built to give you some protection from fire. Walls, floors and doors will hold back flames and smoke for a time. 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, leave the building closing the door to your flat behind you.
- 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.