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What to do if there is a fire

If you are ever faced with a fire, and it is safe to do so, remember to:

  • Get Out

  • Stay Out

  • Call 999

What to do if there is a fire

Fire is extremely dangerous and you should act quickly. The following tips will help you keep yourself and your family safe.

  • Alert everyone
    Make sure everyone in the house knows about the fire – shout and get everyone together.
  • Get everyone out
    You should have an escape route planned that everyone in your house is familiar with. If you don’t have one already, follow the link below for information on how to make an escape plan for your home.
  • As you escape, remember:

    • don’t delay to save valuables or look for pets

    • don’t investigate the fire
    • crawl on the floor if there’s smoke - the air is cleaner near the floor so put your nose as low as possible; remember, smoke is poisonous and can kill you
    • as you go out, only open the doors you need to and close any open doors you can to slow the spread of the fire
    • before you open doors, feel them with the back of your hand; if they’re warm, don’t open them – the fire is on the other side
    • if you’re escaping with others, stay together if you can
  • Call 999 as soon as you're clear of the building. 999 calls are free.

If you cannot leave because of either smoke or flames

Choose a room that you can go to, close the door and put blankets or something similar at the bottom of the door. This will prevent smoke from entering the room.

If you have a phone, call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service. If you don't have a phone handy, open the window and shout for help. As a last resort throw small soft things, such as a duvet or pillows, out of the window and lower yourself onto them.

What to do if your clothes catch fire

If your clothes catch fire you can stop the flames spreading and put out the fire by following the instructions below:

  • Don't run around, you'll make the flames worse.
  • Lie down and roll around. It makes it harder for the fire to spread.
  • Smother the flames with a heavy material, like a coat or blanket.
  • Remember, Stop, Drop and Roll!

What to do if your escape is blocked

If you cannot complete your escape plan because the exits are blocked then the following advice can help:

  • If you can't get out, get everyone in 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.

More information about the Blue Light Aware project is available at

Be prepared

The best way you can help yourself or your family is to be prepared for an emergency. Read our safety at home section and follow our tips on keeping safe at home, on the road or outdoors.