Simple fire escape plan.

If you live in a bungalow, house or flat within a converted older building, this is the page for you.

Making a simple escape plan

Why make a home escape plan?

No-one likes to think that a fire might start at home, but accidents do happen, and being prepared can make all the difference. 

3 steps that can save your life

If a fire starts inside your home you need to:

  1. Get out
  2. Stay out
  3. Call 999 as soon as it is safe to do so

Our firefighters will be on their way as quickly as possible. Our average response time in 2016/17 was 5 minutes 25 seconds.

Don’t try to fight the fire – you could put yourself and others in danger. The sooner you call us, the sooner help will be on the way.

Be aware of the facts...

Fires can develop and get out of hand very quickly, 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. Don’t take any risks – get out, stay out, shut the doors behind you and call 999.

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 window sills 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, and 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

  1. Make sure everyone in your home knows – and has practiced! – the escape route.
  2. If any of your smoke alarms go off, never assume it is a false alarm.
  3. Shout ‘FIRE’ to alert others in the home.
  4. Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables – remember, get out, stay out and shut the doors behind you.
  5. Call 999 as soon as you are safe to do so.
  6. Don’t try and tackle fires yourself. Leave it to the professionals – as soon as you make the call, we'll be on our way.
  7. Try and keep calm, and close doors behind you to slow down the spread of fire and smoke.
  8. 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.
  9. If there’s smoke, keep low where the air is clearer.
  10. 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.
Clothes on fire instruction poster

What to do if someone’s clothes catch fire 

If clothes have caught fire, don’t run. Try and remember ‘stop, drop, roll' – which means: 

  1. Stop – don’t run, you’ll make the flames worse.
  2. Drop – lie down on the ground at once.
  3. Roll – in heavy fabric or a fire blanket to smother the flames, though just on the ground will help. 

Need help making your escape plan?

Check your home's safe using our simple tool - It only takes a few minutes to check your home and get tailored advice for your family.

Try our Home Fire Safety Checker

Useful downloads...

Fire safety in the home booklet

Download PDF (3,662kb)

Short fire safety leaflet

Download PDF (2,410kb)

You might also be interested in...