Fire survival guide

Every year the fire brigade is called out to over 60,000 fires in the home. If a fire breaks out in your home, your chances of survival depend on how quickly and safely you are able to get out.

Planning your escape route from a single dwelling

If a fire occurs in your home, you may have to get out in dark and difficult conditions. Escaping from a fire will be a lot easier if you have already planned your escape route and know where to go. Make sure your planned escape route is free of any obstructions and there are no loose floor coverings that could be a trip hazard. Everyone in the house should be aware of the escape route.

If you have serious mobility difficulties you may wish to consider having your bedroom on the ground floor, if this is practical, and as near as possible to an exit. If you need assistance to make your escape, it is vital you have some means of summoning help by your bed, such as a buzzer, intercom or telephone.

There are also systems available which will automatically dial out on your telephone line to summon help or send a signal to a manned control room. Details of the many emergency call/alarm systems available can be obtained from the Disabled Living Foundation who produce a booklet on the subject.

Bedtime routine

Many fires in the home start at night. Make sure you have a bedtime fire safety routine to help keep you and your family safe. Here are a few simple things you should do every night:

  • Switch off and unplug all electrical appliances not designed to stay on. (There are specially designed plugs available which can be very easily inserted and removed. Details of these devices are available from the Disabled Living Foundation
  • Make sure no cigarettes or pipes are still burning. Never smoke in bed
  • Before emptying ashtrays make sure the contents are cold
  • Switch off any portable heaters and electric blankets
  • Close the doors of all rooms.