Your Escape Plan

Having a smoke alarm is the first crucial step to protecting yourself from fire. But what would you do if it went off during the night? A well-practised escape plan could be a life-saver if you have a fire. Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke could leave you unconscious, so every second counts.

If you have children or other dependants, or care for someone less able, it could take more time to get out. Think ahead, be prepared and keep your exits clear.

When you make an escape plan, involve everyone who lives in your home, including children, older or disabled people and any lodgers. And if you’ve got people staying the night, be sure to share the plan. This is really important if you’re having a party and people are drinking alcohol.

Your escape route:

  • the best escape route is your usual way in and out
  • choose a second escape route, in case the first is blocked
  • think about where you could take refuge if you can’t escape – especially if you have difficulty moving around or going downstairs on your own
  • keep your escape route clear at all times
  • make sure everyone knows where the door and window keys are kept
  • think of any difficulties you may have getting out, eg keep a torch handy

If you can’t escape, you’ll need to find a room to take refuge in:

  • move everyone to the safest room, ideally as far away as possible from the fire itself
  • call 999
  • keep the door closed and put bedding or clothing at the bottom of the door to block smoke
  • don’t break a window, but open one if you can do it safely. If smoke comes in, close it straight away
  • balconies – check for fire and smoke from below, or falling debris from above, before using a balcony during a fire
  • if you live in a flat, you should follow your landlord’s escape plan.

Know Your Escape Plan

escape routes

  • move everyone to the safest room, ideally as far away as possible from the fire itself
  • call 999
  • keep the door closed and put bedding or clothing at the bottom of the door to block smoke
  • don’t break a window, but open one if you can do it safely. If smoke comes in, close it straight away
  • balconies – check for fire and smoke from below, or falling debris from above, before using a balcony during a fire
  • if you live in a flat, you should follow your landlord’s escape plan.