In any emergency, dial 999 at the earliest opportunity and stay safe until the emergency services arrive.
What to do if your smoke alarm goes off
Would you and your family know what to do if a fire starts in your home?
Please take a few minutes to read the information on this page. It really could make a difference in the event of a fire in your home or workplace, share it with your family – that way you will be better equipped to escape safely and quickly in the event of a fire.
Raise the alarm
If your smoke alarm goes off in the middle of the night, do not investigate to see if there is a fire, shout to wake everyone up, follow your escape plan and get out.
Check closed doors with the back of your hand - if they are warm do not open them - the fire is on the other side. If there is a lot of smoke, you should crawl along with your nose near to the floor where the air will be fresher.
If your escape route is blocked
Have a pre designated 'safe room'. This should be facing the road.
Get everyone into this room and close the door. Put bedding or towels along the bottom of the door to seal the gap - smoke and fumes can kill people quickly so it is important to stop them getting into the room.
Open the window and stay near it for fresh air and to let the firefighters see you. Phone the Fire Service or shout FIRE! so that someone else can phone for you. Keep shouting until the Fire Service arrive and acknowledge you.
There is no such thing as a 'safe' fire. It is better for you to prevent fire than to fight it. Tackling fire should be left to professional firefighters. Simply get out, stay out and call the Fire and Rescue Service out.
Escaping From a window
If you are on the ground or first floor you may be able to escape from a window. If you have to break the window, cover any jagged glass with towels or thick bedding and throw some more bedding out of the window to break your fall. Do not jump out of the window – lower yourself to arm's length and drop to the ground.
If you have any children, or elderly or disabled people with you, plan the order in which you will escape so you can help them down.
Don't go back into your home
Call the Fire and Rescue Service on 999 from a mobile phone, neighbour's house or a public phone box. Do not go back for anything.
After a fire
There is support available to help you and your family after a fire, from temporary accommodation to emotional support. For more details, contact us on 0800 032 1155.