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Commercial Services


plan your escape

How to make an escape plan

You should have your escape route planned and everyone in your house should be familiar with it.

Do not delay your escape to save valuables or look for pets. Smoke from a fire is toxic and can leave you unconscious in just two or three breaths.

Plan your escape

Escaping from a house, bungalow or converted flat

  • The best escape route is usually the normal way in and out of your home.
  • Think of any difficulties you may have getting out, for example at night you may need to have a torch to light your way.
  • If the smoke is thick, you should get down low (where there is less smoke) and crawl.
  • Think about your route out and how you would alert your children and get them (and any animals) out.
  • Keep all paths including stairs clear of obstructions, like pushchairs, toys, or bikes.
  • Decide where the keys to doors and windows should be kept and always keep them there. Ideally this should be close to the door or window. Make sure everyone in your household knows where they are.
  • Plan for a second escape route, in case the first one is blocked.

If your escape route is blocked or you’re trapped by fire

Try to get out of the building if you are on the ground floor:

  • Escape out of a window. Throw bedding or cushions to break your fall.
  • If you can’t open the window, use a heavy object to break it at the bottom corner. When you go through it, cover any sharp edges with clothing, a towel or blanket
  • Lower children as far as possible before letting them drop. Get an adult to break their fall if you can.
  • Lower yourself by your arms from the window ledge before dropping.

If you can’t get out or are upstairs

Find a safe room – a room where you can wait for the fire and rescue service.

  • A safe room should have a window that opens, and a telephone.
  • Get everyone into the safe room, close the door and put bedding, cushions or towels along the bottom to seal the gap.
  • Open the window for fresh air, and call for help.
  • Think now - which room might be best for this? You need a window that can be opened easily and if possible, has a phone for calling 999. We recommend you have a phone and torch to the bedroom when you go to bed, in case there is a fire.

Escaping from a high-rise building

High rise buildings will have fire safety measures in place. Read more about escaping from a high-rise building.

Practise your escape plan

Once you have your escape plan, go through it and practise it with everyone who lives in your home. You could do this at the same time as you test your smoke alarms (at least once a month).


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