Could you find your way out of a smoke-filled house at night?

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is highlighting the importance of working smoke alarms and planning an escape route through a short film.

The service has produced a video highlighting the difference a working smoke alarm can have, especially at night.

The film shows how difficult it could be to escape from a house filling with smoke and why the early warning provided by a working smoke alarm can make all the difference.

AF&RS Station Manager, Martyn Bolt, said: “We wanted to highlight this message to people as many often take it for granted that they will be able to get out of the house in the event of a fire.

“But without a working smoke alarm, you wake up to find your house in total darkness and filled with intoxicating thick black smoke. On television scenes involving fire often show people being able to see through smoke, but in reality the situation is very different.

“That’s what we want families to think about as we remind them to fit a working smoke alarm on every level of their home. Smoke alarms activate at the first sign of a fire and alert occupants, giving them time to escape. We advise people to check the batteries at least once a week.

“We would also encourage people to plan and practice an escape plan so that in the event of a fire everyone in the house knows what to do. This should include knowing where all the door and window keys are kept, keeping escape routes clear and keeping a telephone nearby to use to call 999.”

To view the film click here

Plan a safe escape

  • 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 the home.
  • Think of a second route in case the first one is blocked.
  • Take a few minutes to practice your escape plan.
  • Review your plan if the layout of your home changes.
  • Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them.

What to do if there is a fire

  • Never try to tackle a fire yourself. Leave it to the professionals.
  • Keep calm and act quickly. Get everyone out as soon as possible.
  • If there is smoke, keep low where the air is clearer.
  • Before you open an internal 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 are clear of the building.

For more fire safety advice can be found on our Escape plans pages.