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What to do if there is a fire

If there’s a fire, you need to act quickly. Make sure you are prepared and that everyone in your house knows exactly what to do.

Dial 999 immediately.

  • Alert everyone in the house that there’s a fire;
  • Get everyone out (you should plan an escape route that everyone knows about) ;
  • Don’t delay to save valuables or look for pets;
  • Don’t investigate the fire;
  • If there is smoke crawl on the floor where the air is cleaner ;
  • Keep your nose as low as possible, smoke is toxic and can kill you;
  • Before opening a door feel its surface with the back of your hand - if it’s warm, don’t open it – the fire is on the other side;
  • Only open the doors you need to and close open doors to prevent the spread of the fire;
  • If you’re escaping with others, stay together if you can.

If clothes catch fire:

  • Don’t run around – this makes the flames burn faster;
  • Lying down makes it harder for the fire to spread and keeps flames away from your face and head;
  • Smother the flames using a coat or blanket;
  • Roll around to smother the flames.

If your escape route is blocked:

  • If you’re on the ground floor, go out of a window – throw bedding or cushions onto the ground outside to break your fall;
  • If you can’t open the window, use a heavy object to break it – cover jagged edges with clothing, a towel or a 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 escape, get everyone into one room:

  • Choose a room with a window, if you can;
  • Put cushions, towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to block smoke;
  • Think about which room might be best for this – you need a window that can be opened.
  • Open or break the window and call for help;

Never go back into a building on fire

If there is someone inside a building on fire wait for the Fire and Rescue Service somewhere safe near the building and tell them about the person. They will be able to find them quicker than you, if you go back into the building, you will slow down the firefighters efforts to rescue anyone else missing – and put your own life in danger.

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