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Does your family have a fire escape plan?

14th May 2019

FIRE ESCAPE PLAN

A Guide from the NI Fire and Rescue Service

It is very important that all your family know what to do if there is a fire in your home and how to escape safely. You should prepare a Fire Escape Plan for your home and practise it regularly. Plan together as a family, this doesn't take long but it could save lives.

Initial points you should consider:

• Who is usually in the property?

How will they know if theres a fire?

If there are vulnerable people, who will raise the alarm and help them?

Slips, trips and falls are the number one reason older people are taken to the emergency department in a hospital. Most falls dont cause serious injury but they can leave you distressed.

It is important to keep escape routes clear to minimise trip hazards.

Plan A

The first choice of escape is normally through the main door, thats the door you normally use to enter and leave your home.

Always close it behind you once everyone is out of the building.

Make sure escape routes are kept clear and free from obstacles that could block or delay your escape.

Ensure everyone knows where the keys are kept for final exit doors; they should be kept close to the door.

Have an assembly point outside and make sure everyone knows its location.

Take a few minutes to practise your escape plan.

If you discover a fire, close the door of the room where the fire is, only if it is safe to do so.

Keep calm and act quickly; get everyone out as soon as possible.

If there is smoke, keep low where the air is clearer.

Dont put your life at risk investigating whats happened or rescuing pets or valuables.

Before you open a door check for signs of smoke or if its warm. If it is, dont open it, fire is on the other side.

Call 999 as soon as youre clear of the building. 999 calls are free.

Review your plan if the layout of your home changes.

Plan B

If its not safe to leave by the main door, how else could you escape?

Is there another door you could use or a fire escape?

• Could you climb out of a ground floor window?

Could you climb out of a first floor window onto a garage roof or an extension and climb down safely?

If youre no higher than the first floor could you escape through a window using bedding to cushion your fall? Remember! Lower yourself by the full length of your arms. Land with your knees bent. Dont jump!

If neither Plan A nor B is safe, youll need to shelter somewhere:

Choose a room with a phone and a window that opens, the bigger the window opening the better.

Stay together, you will be calmer if you are all together and it will be easier for the Fire Service to help you.

• Dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service.

Pack blankets and clothes around the door to keep smoke out.

Stay by the window and shout helpor fire’.

If theres smoke, keep low where the air is clearer.

Hang a towel or similar item from the window to let firefighters know your location.

If you have a fire, always remember:

Get out, stay out and get the Fire Service out.