Know your escape plan

Ask your landlord for the evacuation plan for your building if you don’t have it. It will be either:

Stay put

Unless the fire is in your flat or a direct neighbour’s, keep your front door and windows closed. Don’t go investigating and stay together, tune into local TV or radio and await instructions from emergency services. Firefighters will knock on your door if they need you to evacuate. Unnecessary evacuation can obstruct firefighters and delay them putting the fire out.

Partial evacuation

If your building is fitted with an evacuation alert system, the fire service may decide to partially evacuate the building. This may be done on a floor-by-floor basis.

Full evacuation

When the alarm sounds, get everyone in your flat out of the building using emergency fire exit routes and stairs (do not use the lift).

General escape plan advice

  • Make sure you and those you live with know how to escape in the event of a fire.
  • Make an escape plan so that you and your family know what to do if there is a fire in your flat. Learn what escape signage is used in your building and what it means
  • Keep door and window keys accessible, avoid keeping them in the kitchen, as this is where most fires in the home start. Everyone in the flat should know where the keys are.
  • Keep your doorways and hallways free from clutter. This includes communal areas. Report any discarded rubbish to your landlord.
  • If there is one, choose a second escape route, in case the first one is blocked
  • Review your escape route regularly to take into account any changes in your flat or building.
  • Firefighters may put up smoke curtains, that help smoke from spreading, if you need to escape, you can easily go through the curtain.

Smoke Curtain

Smoke Curtain

  • Firefighters may put a smoke hood over your head to help you escape, it helps filter toxic smoke from the air

Smoke Hood

Smoke Hood

  • You should only try and escape through a window if you're on the ground or first floor (under 3m in height) and your escape route is blocked. If you're higher up, wait to be rescued by Firefighters.
  • Once you've escaped, don't go back inside your home, even if there is someone or pets left inside. Wait for Firefighters and when they arrive give them as much information as possible.
  • Never block emergency access to your building or the hydrants. Firefighters need to get their fire engines as close as possible to the entrance and be able to access the hydrants for additional water supply.
  • Dry or wet riser pipes run internally through the block and are usually painted red. The pipes provide water to higher floors to tackle fires. It is important that you report any damage to this equipment as soon as you see it.