Escape plans

An escape plan can save your life if danger strikes your home

This is your household so plan if there was an emergency in your home. Planning of your nearest/best escape route is very important: 

  • Know the way out - sounds simple, but in a dark and smoky atmosphere thing are very different. 
  • Your best route is the way you always come into your home. Think about another way too (e.g. back door, patio doors or side door). 
  • Keep your escape routes clear of obstacles. If it was dark, you could trip over things underfoot.  Especially keep stairs clear. 
  • Know where door and window keys are kept. Ensure there are keys in every room where windows are kept locked. 
  • Depending on how many live in the property, ensure there is a pre-arranged meeting place. If you all get out separately, have a meeting point so you are all together and someone does not re-enter the building to save someone that is already out. 
  • Live in a flat?  You must familiarise yourself with the fire plan; this will give you essential advice on your escape and where the fire meeting point is. 
  • If you live in a flat and discover the hallways filled with smoke or fire – go back inside your flat and close the door. Do not use the lift. 

Practice your Fire Action Plan: 

  • Knowing what to do could save your life. 
  • Take a few minutes to 'walk' the route with your family. 
  • Check that everyone is able to operate keys and locks. 
  • Review your plan if you make any changes in your home. 

Our advice is to know your escape plan backwards:   

If there is a fire: 

  • Raise the alarm, do not look for the fire and shout to wake everyone up. 
  • Follow your plan and get out. 
  • Check doors with the back of your hand before opening. 
  • If it feels warm, do not open it - go another way. 
  • If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air will be cleaner. 
  • When outside, call 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service from a mobile phone, phone box or a neighbours’ house. 
  • Stay calm, speak clearly and listen to the operator. 

If the escape route is blocked or if an occupier was not able to get out of any room very easily: 

  • Get everyone into one room. If possible, choose a room where you could be visible and heard by a passer-by.  This room could be at the front or rear of your property.  Also, have a mobile phone or telephone in a bedroom it will enable you to call the fire service straight away. 
  • Close the door and put bedding or towels along the bottom to seal the gap. 
  • Only when the gap is sealed can you open the window for fresh air  
  • Phone the Fire and Rescue Service if you have not already or shout for help (shout ‘fire’) and get someone else to make the call. 
  • If you are on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through the window. 
  • Throw some bedding, clothing, or soft furnishings out. 
  • Do not jump, lower yourself down at arm's length and drop into the soft pile. 
  • Think about the best order to go down if you have children or older people with you. Do not leave children to be last to get out - they may be too scared to do it. 
  • Once you are out, you must stay out.

Bedtime Routine 

We always check that our doors are locked before going to bed so why not get into the habit are following some additional bedtime routines:    

  • Is the cooker turned off?​ 
  • Are all unnecessary electrical items turned off?​ 
  • Turn off all heaters, shouldn’t be left on overnight​ 
  • Cigarettes/ashtrays left to go cold​ 
  • Are door keys to hand?​ 
  • Have they means of communication if bedridden?​ 
  • Are exits free from obstructions?​ 
  • Close doors particularly kitchen and lounge as you leave​ 
  • Never use the tumble dryer, washing machine or dishwasher whilst you are asleep.  

The 112 Service

112 was introduced in April 1995 in the UK. It was introduced across Europe in order to give a standard number for travellers to call across the EU. 

To call 999 and 112, simply enter the number into your mobile telephone or landline. The call is free. The operator will answer and ask ‘Which service do you require”. If you are unsure, the operator can advise. 

In 2009, UK mobile phone networks introduced “Emergency Call Roaming”. This means that although a mobile phone might display a ‘no signal’ message, an emergency call will attempt to contact to another network. However, you will be unable to receive a call on that network, even if the inbound call is from emergency services. 

However, if your phone does not contain a SIM card, you cannot make emergency calls. A SIM-less phone may display ‘Emergency Calls Only’, but that’s the phone’s software displaying the message. SIM free emergency calls have been blocked due to untraceable hoax calls. 


If you are in a remote location, there is now an app that emergency services use called What3words.  The company has divided the world into 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words, these are easy to share and as accurate as GPS coordinates, an easy way for people to give their location. 
For more information visit their website