Home Escape Plan
A home escape plan could save your life in the event of a fire within your home.
In a smoke filled home it is very easy panic and become disorientated so by planning and putting into practice how you will escape with the whole family you will gain confidence in having to escape should the situation arise.
Escape plan for a House, bungalow or converted flat
The advice for if a fire starts in your home is:
Never try to fight the fire putting yourself and others in danger.
Call 999 as soon as your outside and safe to do so
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 considering windows as an exit.
Talk through your plan with family members and practice your escape plan regularly.
Keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them.
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.
Advice for a safe escape
Make sure everyone in your home understands and has practiced your escape plan.
If any of your smoke alarms go off do not assume it is a false alarm and put your plan into action if required.
Shout FIRE to alert sleeping members within your home.
Do not waste time in getting out by trying to take valuables, they can be replaced however you cannot.
Call 999 as soon as it is safe to do so.
Try and keep calm and close doors behind you to slow down the spread of fire and smoke.
Use the back of your hand to check a door you need to go through. If it is warm it is likely there is fire at the other side of it.
If your escape route is smoke filled stay as low as you can as smoke rises and there is likely to be cleaner air below.
Once outside stay outside, never go back in the building until it has been made safe to do so.
Tips for your smoke alarm
Plans for purpose built masionettes & blocks of flats
Purpose-built maisonettes or blocks of flats should have been built to give you some protection from fire meaning that walls, floors and doors should be able to hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes.
If the fire is elsewhere within the building guidance states usually safer staying put and calling 999 which is known as a stay put policy therefore reducing the risk of you entering a smoke filled corridor and been overcome by the fumes.
Your building management should also give guidance on what evacuation policy they adopt.
Fire inside your flat
If there's a fire inside your flat, then the escape plan is a simple one:
Make your way out the normal way avoiding the use of lifts.
Keep door keys where everyone you and everyone you live with can find them.
Do not put yourself and others at risk by trying to collect valuables.
Move as quickly but as safely as you can as you exit the building.
Close the flat door behind you to slow down the spread of fire and smoke.
Call 999 as soon as you are safe to do so.
Fire or smoke inside your home but no clear escape
If you cannot access your escape route due to smoke or other obstruction, then you may be safer staying within the flat or maisonette.
Find a safe room as far as possible within the flat from any fire or smoke with a window if possible the close the door and use soft materials to block any gaps to stop the smoke.
Go to a window call 999, then shout for help.
Give the operator all the details they ask for including your exact location within the flat making it easier for the firefighters to rescue you.