Fitting smoke alarms is the first crucial step to protecting yourself from fire. But what would you do if one went off during the night?
This section will help you make a plan ready for an emergency.
The escape video will help you and your family be safer by planning an emergency escape route should you or your family experience a fire in your home.
- Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to escape.
- Make sure exits are kept clear.
- The best route is the normal way in and out of your home.
- Think of a second route in case the first one is blocked.
- Take a few minutes to practise your escape plan.
- Review your plan if the layout of your home changes.
Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them.
- Don’t tackle fires yourself. Leave it to the professionals.
- Keep calm and act quickly, get everyone out as soon as possible.
- Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables.
- If there’s smoke, keep low where the air is clearer.
- Before you open a door check if it’s warm. If it is, don’t open it – fire is on the other side.
- Call 999 as soon as you’re clear of the building. 999 calls are free.
We have provided detailed information on dialling 999 in an emergency. This includes the crucial information that you will need to give in the event an incident.
- If you can’t get out, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone.
- Put bedding around the bottom of the door to block out the smoke.
- Call 999 then open the window and shout “HELP FIRE”.
- If you’re on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through a window.
- Use bedding to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully. Don’t jump.
- If you can’t open the window break the glass in the bottom corner. Make jagged edges safe with a towel or blanket.
If a person's clothing should catch fire, follow the "stop, drop and roll" rule to put out the flames.
Stop - means don't panic and run about - it will make the fire worse
Drop - to the floor, as this makes it harder for the fire to spread
Roll - roll back and forth until the flames are extinguished
If you see someone on fire, you can help additionally to the above by wrapping the victim in a rug, coat or blanket to smoother the flames.
- As with all buildings, you should plan and practise an escape route.
- Avoid using lifts and balconies if there is a fire.
- It is easy to get confused in smoke, so count how many doors you need to go through to reach the stairs.
- Check there is nothing in the corridors or stairways that could catch fire – like boxes or rubbish.
- Make sure doors to stairways are not locked.
- Make sure everyone in the building knows where the fire alarms are.
- You should still get a smoke alarm for your own home, even if there is a warning system in the block.
Free home fire safety checks
Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service offer free home fire safety checks.
You will need to complete a short survey to find out if you're eligible. If you are we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit your home. Please be aware that there is a waiting list in place.
Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.