Escape routes

Be prepared and make an escape plan in case of an emergency:

  • Familiarise yourself and your family with your fire escape routes and make sure everyone in your household knows how to escape. Make sure to consider anyone in your household that may need help to escape.
  • Make sure all escape routes are kept clear.
  • Walk quickly, do not run to avoid tripping.
  • If you lock your doors at night, keep your house keys somewhere safe where everyone in your household can find them, just in case you need to get out quickly.
  • Prepare a grab bag that you can take if you need to be evacuated. Think about prescriptions, documents such as your driving licence and passport, spare keys, a mobile phone, charger and a torch.
  • Before you open a door check if it’s warm. If it is, don’t open it – fire is on the other side.
  • If there’s smoke, keep low where the air is clearer.
  • Call 999 as soon as you’re clear of the building.

Shared properties or high-rise blocks:

  • Your building should have its own evacuation procedure in case of fire. If you do not know what it is for your building, please ask your Housing Officer or Scheme Manager.
  • In the event of a fire, use the stairs, do not use the lift.
  • Should you be given advice by the fire service or staff to leave your flat or if your flat is being affected by excessive smoke, a rapid rise in temperature or visible flames inside or outside, leave immediately, closing internal doors and your front door behind you.
  • On leaving the building, make your way to the assembly point and do not re-enter the building until authorised to do so by staff or the fire service.

What to do if your escape route is blocked:

  • 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.



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