Escape plans

Be prepared by making an escape route

Keep doors and window keys where everyone can find themIllustration of hand holding key

  • Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to get out.
  • Make sure exits are kept clear. The best route is the normal way in and out of your 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.

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, then open the window and call "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.

How to escape from a high level building

  • Avoid using lifts and balconies if there is a fire. 
  • It is easy to get confused in smoke, so count how many doors you need to go through to reach the stairs.
  • Check there is nothing in the corridors or stairways that could catch fire – like boxes or rubbish. 
  • Make sure doors to stairways are not locked.
  • Make sure everyone in the building knows where the fire alarms are.
  • You should still get a smoke alarm for your own home, even if there is a warning system in the block. 

Illustration of parent and child escaping via a planned route

Illustration of a bicycle and some boxes obstructing a possible fire escape route