If a fire does break out in your home, chances are you will only have a short amount of time to get you and your family to safety. Remember, if there’s a fire – get out, stay out and dial 999.

A fire in the home is something that everyone hopes will not happen to them. However, there are some simple steps and advice that you can take and practice in case you are ever faced with a fire in the home.

Every home should have a fire escape plan in place, so that all members of the family know what to do in case a fire occurs. Each fire plan should:

  • take into account the layout of the house and the family members
  • include having at least one working smoke alarm fitted on each level of your house
  • make sure you remember to close all internal doors before going to bed and ensuring that door keys are kept either in the door, or next to the door so that they can be accessed easily.

If you cannot leave your home because of either smoke or flames, choose a room that you can go to, close the door and put blankets or something similar at the bottom of the door. This will prevent smoke from entering the room.

If you have a phone, call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service. If you don’t have a phone handy, open the window and shout for help. As a last resort throw small soft things, such as a duvet or pillows, out of the window and lower yourself onto them.

They will then put you through to the critical control centre, who will ask you for the following information:

  • what the problem is
  • the address of the incident
  • landmarks or nearby streets to help with directions
  • the city/town/village
  • if a fire is involved, more details will be asked, such as ‘is it a car fire, a building fire, is anyone still in the building’

Try not to panic, and speak clearly. The information you give may help to save lives and property.

If you are waiting to be put through to the fire and rescue service, and a fire appliance attends the incident, please stay on the line and tell the control operator that an appliance has arrived.


  • Don’t go back into a burning building for anything. If there is still someone inside, tell the Fire and Rescue Service when they arrive – they’ll be able to find the person quicker and more safely than you.
  • Find somewhere safe to wait near the building, and give the Fire and Rescue Service as much information as possible about the incident.