'Plan your escape route' says Fire and Rescue Service

With summer upon us, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is asking people to make sure their family, guests and loved ones know how to get out, stay out, and call 999 in the event of a fire.

A smoke alarm can give people the warning they need to get out of their home in a fire, but a blocked exit, locked door or unfamiliar surroundings can often shave vital seconds from their escape time, exposing them to the fatal dangers of toxic smoke.

Some simple steps and a clear escape plan in the event of a fire will help ensure that everyone can get out, stay out and call 999:

  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time in a fire
  • Prepare and practise a plan of action to help you act quickly if there’s a fire in your home.
  • Keep your escape route clear to ensure a speedy exit
  • Make sure everyone knows where the door and window keys are kept.

With Carers Week and Child Safety Week both in June, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is also reminding people of the vital importance of helping those who are less able to help themselves.

More than 800 children aged 16 and under were injured and 15 killed in fires in the home last year, and around seventy per cent of older people overestimate their ability to escape a fire in the home.

If you have a dependant to think about:

  • Make sure you’ve planned an escape route and think of any difficulties people may have getting out and help they may need, such as a torch to light their way or a stair rail.
  • Consider the best place to go if the worst happens and someone can’t escape, especially if they have trouble moving around or can’t get downstairs on their own.
  • Nominate someone in your home (perhaps a child) to be the ‘Escape champ’ - Regularly role-play escape routes and give children the responsibility to keep escape routes clear.

To find out more fire safety information, please visit www.gov.uk/firekills.