What is an escape plan?

In a nutshell, it's the plan that could save your life in an emergency. In a smoky, scary atmosphere, it's easy to freeze, panic and become disorientated. By planning and practising how you will escape with the whole family, you can be more confident about a safe escape.

The details of your escape plan will depend on your home, and the people you share it with.

3 steps that can save your life

If a fire starts inside your home you need to:

  • Get out
  • Stay out
  • Call 999 as soon as it is safe to do so

Our firefighters will be on their way as quickly as possible.

Don't try to fight the fire - you could put yourself and others in danger. The sooner you call us, the sooner help will be on the way.

How to make your escape plan

The best route is the normal way you come in and out of your home.

Plan a second route in case the first one is blocked.

Take a few minutes to practice your escape plan regularly.

Keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them.

If you have additional security gates or shutters, make sure they can be easily opened from the inside without a key in a fire.

If you - or anyone you live with - might find it difficult to escape quickly without assistance in an emergency, make extra plans to get them to safety, and book a free home fire safety visit for extra expert advice.

Make sure everyone in your home understands what to do in a fire. Remember to keep visitors in the know too.

Get Out. Stay Out. Call 999

Top tips for safe escapes

Make sure everyone in your home knows - and has practiced the escape route!

If any of your smoke alarms go off, never assume it is a false alarm.

Shout 'FIRE' to alert others in the home.

Don't waste time investigating what's happened or rescuing valuables - remember, get out, stay out and shut the doors behind you.

Call 999 as soon as you are safe to do so.

Don't try and tackle fires yourself. Leave it to the professionals – as soon as you make the call, we'll be on our way.

Try and keep calm, and close doors behind you to slow down the spread of fire and smoke.

Before you open a door check if it's warm with the back of your hand. If it is, don't open it - there may be a fire on the other side.

If there's smoke, keep low where the air is clearer - get down low and go, go, go

Never go back into the building once you are safely outside.

Internal and external shot of fire damage to rooms when a door remains closed.

Closing doors makes a real difference if there is a fire in your home

Cartoon of a anthropomorphized dog leading two children out of a smoke filled room by crawling low to the ground.

Get down low and go, go, go

What if your escape route is blocked?

If you can't get out then get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone. Close the door and put bedding or any soft materials around the bottom of the door to block the smoke and then open the window and shout for help: 'HELP, FIRE'.

If you have a phone with you, call 999 - be ready to describe where you are and the quickest way to reach you.

If you're on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through a window. Don't jump - use soft materials to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully.


Activities are provided as downloadable PDFs.