Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Make sure you know your escape route

Make sure you know how you and your family plan to get out in the event of a fire, that is the message from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

When fire strikes every second counts so knowing how you plan to get your family safely out of the home could mean the difference between a close shave and tragedy.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “When there is a fire in the home our advice is get out, stay out and call the fire service out. Making sure that you know your way out and that the escape route is kept clear of clutter could be the difference between life and death.”

A working smoke alarm will give everyone in the house warning that a fire has broken out, 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.

Here are some simple steps which will help you make sure that you will be warned at the first sign of danger and that you have a clear escape plan to make sure you and your family are safely out of the house before you dial 999:

- Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home and test them regularly.
- Prepare an escape route, make sure everyone knows it and practice your escape.
- Keep your escape route clear so there are no obstacles to slow you down.
- Make sure everyone in the house – including friends and family who may stay over – knows where all keys to doors and windows are kept.

DO Fenwick said: “A bit of care and planning now can mean everything when disaster strikes. Knowing an escape plan and making sure that escape routes are kept clear and keys are kept handy is vitally important.

“Just a few minutes now spent planning your escape route and sharing it with your family could be the most valuable time you have ever spent.”

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