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Blocked Escape Routes Put Lives At Risk

As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) is reminding people of the importance of a safe and clear escape route in case a fire should break out in their home.

The Service advocates that in the event of a fire people should, Get Out, Stay Out and Call 999 and to ensure they are ready and prepared to do this, they should have a pre-planned and practised escape route that everyone in the family, including any overnight guests, are aware of.

Blocked escape routes can severely hinder a person’s chances of a safe escape and as such can pose a very real threat to lives. It should therefore be on everyone’s agenda to make sure all escape routes in the home are pre-planned and are clear and clutter free.

Another vital factor in getting out, staying out and calling 999, is being alerted to the fire. Working smoke alarms are an essential fire safety tool that will provide this vital early warning. Smoke alarms should be fitted on every level of the home and tested weekly.

Weekly testing of smoke alarms is something we should all take the time to do, but planning a safe escape route, that you and your family are fully aware of, is just as important yet often overlooked.

The following simple steps can help keep you and your loved ones safe from the risks of fire:

  • Fit at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home. This means smoke will reach your alarm much quicker, giving you and your family those vital extra seconds, to Get Out, Stay Out and call 999.
  • Make an escape plan and practise it. This will help ensure everyone knows the procedure in case of a fire.
  • Keep all escape routes clear, this will minimise the chance of tripping or falling whilst exiting your home in an emergency.
  • Keep door and window keys in a known and accessible place so these can be found quickly in the event of a fire.

Prevention and Inclusion Group Manager Steve Ratcliffe said, “Every second counts when escaping a fire. Having working smoke alarms and a pre-planned and practised escape plan can give you and your family the vital extra seconds needed to get out, stay out and call 999.

“If the unthinkable should happen, and fire does break out in your home, it is essential that everyone in the house knows how to escape and that all escape routes are free from any obstacles or clutter.”

For more information on home fire safety and planning a safe escape please visit or and follow us social media:

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