Get out, stay out and call 999
It may be the last month of spring, but there is still time to squeeze in a final spring clean. As part of the Fire Kills campaign, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is asking people to clear away any clutter that may be blocking escape routes, and to make sure their family, guests and loved ones know how to get out, stay out and call 999 in the event of a fire.
Working smoke alarms are regularly the heroes in a fire, giving people the warning they need to get out of their home in a fire, but a blocked exit, locked door or unfamiliar surroundings can often shave vital seconds from their escape time, exposing them to the fatal dangers of toxic smoke.
Some simple steps and a clear escape plan in the event of a fire will help ensure that everyone can get out, stay out and call 999:
- Fit a smoke alarm on at least every level of your home and test them weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time in a fire.
- Prepare and practice a plan of action to help you act quickly if there's a fire in your home.
- Keep your escape route clear to ensure a speedy exit.
- Make sure everyone knows where the door and window keys are kept.
Many of us care for others, children and loved ones. If this is you then consider the following:
- Make sure you've planned an escape route and think of any difficulties people may have and help that they may need getting out, such as a torch to light their way or a stair rail.
- Consider the best place to go if the worst happens and someone can't escape, especially if they have trouble moving around or can't get downstairs on their own.
- Nominate someone in your home (perhaps a child) to be the 'escape champ' - Regularly role-play escape routes and give children the responsibility to keep escape routes clear.
Station Commander Alan Haley, HWFRS said: "Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke could leave you unconscious, so every second counts when escaping from a fire. A working smoke alarm and knowing the escape plan in an emergency could make all the difference'.
He continued 'If you have dependents or someone less able to care for, it could take more time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure you're always prepared, your exits are clear and everyone knows what to do if the worst should happen."
Senior Community Risk Administrator