As summer approaches and Britain gets into gear for celebrations, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is joining other fire and rescue services across the nation in 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.
More than 400 children under 18 were injured and 4 killed in fires in the home.
Last year, and around seventy percent 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.
Steve Wright, Community Safety Team Manager, said:
“We all love a good get-together when the weather picks up, but if you’re having guests round this summer, there’s no need to leave them in the dark when it comes to safety. Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke could leave you unconscious, so every second counts when escaping a fire and a working smoke alarm and knowing the escape plan in an emergency could make all the difference.
“If you have dependants or someone less able to care for, it could take more time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure you’re always prepared, your exits are clear and everyone knows what to do if the worst should happen.”
To find out more fire safety information, please visit www.facebook.com/firekills.