What to do if there's a fire in your home

Steps to take if there's a fire in your home, including what to do if your planned escape route is blocked.

If a fire starts in your house get out, stay out and dial 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.

If you call 999 give: 

  • the operator your full address
  • details of building on fire, for example a two-storey house
  • details of anyone still trapped in the building and the room they are in

What you need to do when a fire starts

It's important that everyone in your house knows what to do should a fire occur.

If you hear a smoke alarm or discover a fire

  • try not to panic
  • tell everyone in the house
  • using your pre-planned escape route, get everyone out of the building as quickly as possible
  • smoke rises so stay low or crawl on the floor in the cleaner air where it's easier to breathe
  • don't stop to collect any valuables or possessions
  • don't stop to look for pets
  • if possible, close the door to the room where the fire is located and close all doors behind you as you leave (to delay the spread of fire and smoke)
  • before opening a closed door, touch it with the back of your hand; don't open it if feels warm - the fire will be on the other side

Don't go back into the building

  • find somewhere safe near the building and wait for the fire service to arrive
  • if someone is still inside the building, tell the fire service and give details
  • don't go back into the building; you'll prevent the fire service from doing what they need to do and put your own life at risk too