Fire spreads fast. Have you prepared your escape plan?
Did you know that over 30,000 fire related incidents in 2016 and 2017 were in people’s homes?
If your smoke alarm goes off, you have around two minutes to escape. Having a fire escape plan can reduce panic and help you and your family to quickly get out of danger, should the unthinkable happen.
Shockingly, one in three families have never thought about their fire escape plan.
In a fire, every second counts.
If your smoke alarm sounds, you need to get out of the building fast.
Make sure everyone in your home knows your home escape route. It’s the best way to increase your family’s chances of survival in the event of a fire. Hopefully you’ll never need to put your plan into action, but being prepared could save your life.
How to prepare your escape plan
1. Plan two exit routes from your home
- Your first exit route is likely to be the normal way you exit the building.
- It’s important to have a second route planned so that if the first exit is blocked by fire you have another way to get out.
- Plan a safe meeting place outside, away from your home, so everyone knows where to meet once they’ve escaped.
2. Keep exits clear at all times
- When escaping a fire, you have to act fast.
Keeping exits clear means you can get out of danger faster.
- If you are using a window as part of your escape plan, make sure everyone can easily open the window.
3. Practice makes perfect
- To keep your family safe, practice your plan twice every year.
- Include children and any other dependents so everyone knows what to do if they hear the smoke alarm go off
- You might feel a bit silly, but it’s more important to stay safe.
If your home does catch fire, follow these rules:
- Don’t delay – call 999 immediately
- Stay low, get out and stay out
- Never attempt to tackle the fire yourself
- If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop to the floor, and roll to put the fire out quickly STOP, DROP and ROLL.
Your fire escape plan depends on having a well-maintained smoke alarm to alert you when a fire starts. Read the stayenergysafe tips on smoke alarm safety, to give you and your family the best chances of escaping a fire.
Most home fires can be prevented
Messing with electrical equipment is very dangerous. Over half of household fires are caused by electricity. To prevent an electrical fire starting in your home avoid overloading sockets, using electronics with faulty wiring, and overcharging things such as laptops or phones.
Tampering with electrical equipment such as an electricity meter is another common cause of fire. Bypassing a meter can make appliances ‘live’ to touch. This can make them overheat and malfunction, creating a very serious risk of fire breaking out.
Help with your fire escape plan
If you’d like extra help with your fire escape plan, most fire and rescue services offer a ‘Safe and Well visit’. Members from your local fire service can visit your home and check for fire risks, help you put together your escape plan, and also test your smoke alarms.
Visit the Fire Service website to find out more about organising a fire safety visit.