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Are you prepared in the event of a fire?

  • If you had a fire, would you know what to do? Be prepared and have an escape plan. One day it could just save your life! Make sure you, and those you live with, know how to escape in the event of a fire. The most important thing to remember if a fire starts in your home is get out, stay out and call 999. You should never try to fight a fire yourself.

Planning ahead:

  • It’s important that everyone in your home (including children and the elderly) is involved in putting together the escape plan.
  • Everyone should know where the door keys are.
  • Keep your escape routes free of clutter. Think how difficult it will be manoeuvring in the dark.
  • Walk your escape route with the rest of your family or housemates and make sure everyone can open doors easily.
  • Always choose a second escape route if possible, just in case the first one is blocked.
  • Review your escape route regularly to take into account any changes in your home.
  • If you live in a building with internal communal areas, familiarise yourself with the fire evacuation strategy for the building. It is usually detailed on a large red notice displayed in the communal area.

What to do in a fire:

  • Keep calm and act quickly. Tell everyone in your home to get out.
  • Seconds count, so don’t waste time investigating or rescuing valuables.
  • Before opening a door check it first by using the back of your hand (starting at the bottom of the door and working upwards). If it’s hot, don’t open it.
  • When moving through your home, close doors behind you to contain the fire.

If your clothes catch fire:

  • Stop, drop, roll! Lie on the floor and roll around, smothering the flames
  • Don’t run around, you will fan the flames and make them burn faster
  • Smother the flames with a heavy coat or blanket.

What to do if your escape route is blocked:

  • Call 999 immediately.
  • Find a room as far away from the fire as possible and wait until the fire fighters arrive.
  • Tell the emergency services where you are in the property.
  • If you have no phone to call 999 open the window and shout HELP FIRE.
  • Put a cushion, bedding, towel around the bottom of the door to block the smoke.
  • Open a window for fresh air.
  • If smoke comes in, keep as low as possible as smoke rises.
  • Once you have escaped, don’t go back inside your home, even if someone is left inside. Wait for the fire service and when they arrive give them as much information as possible.


How to reduce fires in the home

In the kitchen:

  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches and sauce pans out of their reach.
  • If you have to leave the kitchen, take pans off the heat.
  • Make sure sauce pan handles don’t stick out – so they don’t get knocked over.
  • Take care when wearing loose clothing, it can easily catch fire.
  • Keep tea towels and clothes away from the cooker.
  • Spark devices to light gas are safer than matches or lighters because they don’t have a naked flame.
  • Double check the cooker is off when you have finished cooking.
  • Keep electrical leads away from water.
  • Keep the toaster away from curtains and kitchen roll and check it’s clean.
  • Keep the cooker, hob and grill clean and in good working order.
  • Don’t put anything metal in the microwave.
  • Take care when cooking with oils. They set fire easily. If the oil starts to smoke it’s too hot. 
  • If a pan catches fire never throw water on it. Turn off the heat, call 999, get out and stay out. Never tackle a fire yourself.


  • Certain appliances such as a washing machine should have a single plug to themselves as they are high powered.
  • Try to keep to one plug per socket.
  • An extension lead or adapter will have a limit to how many amps it can take, so be careful not to overload them to reduce the risk of a fire. Check the amps on the plug.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Look for any visual signs of damage such are loose wiring or exposed cables, scorch marks, hot plugs or sockets
  • Unplugging appliances reduces the risk of fire. Unplug them when not in use or when you go to bed.

Portable appliances:

  • Try to secure heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over. 
  • Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them to dry clothes.
  • For properties with balconies, the use of barbeques, chimineas, fire pits, portable fires etc. is forbidden.


  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully – use an ashtray. 
  • Never smoke in bed or leave a cigarette lying around lit. 
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking. You might fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire.


  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire like curtains.
  • Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night.
  • Children shouldn’t be left alone with lit candles.
  • Keep pets away from lit candles.

When going to bed:

  • Close all internal doors to stop fire spreading.
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances, unless they are designed to stay on e.g. a freezer.
  • Check your cooker is turned off.
  • Don’t leave the washing machine on.
  • Turn heaters off and put up fire guards.
  • Put candles and cigarettes out properly.
  • Make sure exits are kept clear.
  • Keep door keys where everyone can find them.



  • Test your smoke alarm every week by pressing the button until the alarm sounds. Never remove the battery unless it requires replacing.
  • Contact your local fire service to arrange a home fire safety check. These are usually free.
  • Strobe lighting and vibrating pad alarms are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact Action on Hearing Loss on Telephone 0808 808 0123 or Textphone 0808 808 9000.

***Tumble dryer fire safety***

  • In November 2015 a product recall was initiated to owners of tumble dryers manufactured by various brands including Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Proline, and Swan. The recall related to condenser and vented dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015.

The recall related to the risk of fire caused by laundry fluff coming into contact with the heating element of the machine and is believed to be responsible for thousands of house fires and at least two fatalities. Since then the manufacturers of the affected dryers have offered customers the chance to have the fault rectified.

At the time of the initial recall the information provided by the manufacturers was to not leave the machines unattended when in use. However, Trading Standards have recommended that the manufacturer issues updated usage advice to all customers that have not yet received the product rectification.

The latest update now recommends that if you have one of the affected dryers then you unplug it and do not use it until the modification has taken place.

For more advice and to arrange a free visit from an engineer, please visit the following sites: 

Alternatively a freephone hotline number is available: 0800 151 0905

Creda and Proline customers should visit: