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Fire - How to prepare for Fire

...part of the extended info series on How to prepare your Personal Emergency Plan  

Scenario: Fires - How to prepare for Fire


Key elements for fire preparedness are:

Thousands of fire incidents happen every year. Many go unreported. Sadly some enter history for the worst of reasons: FIRE KILLS. The most common identified cause of death from fire is being overcome by gas or smoke or toxic fumes. In 2011-12, fire and rescue services reported 380 fire related fatalities of which 130 people died because of this cause, accounting for 34% of all fatalities. A further 74 (19%) fatalities were attributed jointly to both burns and being overcome by gas or smoke, whilst 94 (25%) were due to severe burns alone (UK Fire Statistics GOV.UK)

Fires can start in many different ways, each potentially devastating; i.e. 40% of London fire deaths are caused by discarded cigarettes, cigars or tobacco.  Many local fire services offer free home fire safety visits to help you secure your home and avoid disaster.


1. ASSESS - know and recognize the hazards 

2. PREPARE for a Fire Incident 
  • install and know how to operate fire alarms and fire extinguishers
  • prepare your Emergency Plan and Emergency Go-Bag make sure you include specialized burn first aid
  • practise your evacuation procedure with all persons invovled on a regular basis. Fire Safety Experts agree that you may have as little as 2 minutes to get out. Practise worst-case scenarios to be exta safe and prepared.
  • train for fire safety and first aid (fire warden, fire marshal), support or join the retained fire and rescue service in your community

3. STAY SAFE during a Fire Incident  
  • CALL 999  clearly state the address of the fire - GET OUT – STAY OUT  
  • get everyone out as quickly as possible and try not to panic; don't pick up valuables or possessions - instead quickly grab your Emergency Go Bag
  • close the door of the room where the fire is and close all doors behind you as you leave if possible
  • before opening a closed door, use the back of your hand to touch it – if it feels warm don't open it - the fire may be on the other side
  • smoke rises so stay low where it is easier to breathe
  •  if you cannot get out through the door get to a window and open for air and to attract attention. Stay by the window so that you remain visible and can be rescued
  •  if you are in immediate danger and you are at first floor level (not above) drop cushions or bedding to the ground to break your fall from the window.  If you can, get out feet first and lower yourself to the full length of your arms before dropping.
  • aply first aid and seek help immediately

The Red Cross and your local council can help with emergency accommodation and help you deal with insurers.

4. RECOVER after a Fire Incident 
  • only re-enter once the emergency services have declared it safe to do so


thank you for sharing!



Select resources:

HSE Fire Safety; HSE Gas Safety; HSE Electrical Safety;
UK Fire Directory, i.e. CFOA or independent i.e. FireService;  FireNet; list of all UK Fire and Rescue services alterter; note: a directory of local Fire Stations is usually listed on individual Fire Brigade websites
First Aid for Burns, i.e. Red Cross, NHS; burns patient info Bapras.org; BBA;

Source https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-27720568

Plan your Escape Route - Fire Safety - Emergency Preparedness for Fire Incident

Escaping Fire from a First Floor Flat - London Riots 2011; source https://www.telegraph.co.uk/us/

Firefighter source https://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pixies/2013/1/3/1357222979393/Firefighter-008.jpg

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Fire incidents in the United Kingdom in recent news 

see BBC recent fire incidents; or e.g. LFB recent incidents

Chemical incidents in the United Kingdom in recent news

see BBC recent fire incidents;

Gas incidents in the United Kingdom in recent news

see BBC recent Gas incidents;















Source https://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/75392000/jpg/_75392803_75392798.jpg

Source https://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/75104000/jpg/_75104832_d1c92959-5f61-4474-835f-03fd0f0f9c88.jpg

Source https://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/72770000/jpg/_72770368_4870879b-529b-49b9-b1f8-b48d456754d9.jpg