Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Escape Routes

Plan a safe escape

  • Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to get out
  • Make sure exits are kept clear
  • The best route is the normal way in and out of your home
  • Plan a second route in case the first one is blocked
  • Take a few minutes to practise your escape plan
  • Review your plan if the layout of your home changes
  • Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them


What to do if there is a fire

  • Don’t tackle fires yourself. Leave it to the fire service
  • Keep calm and act quickly. Get everyone out as soon as possible
  • Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables
  • If there’s smoke, keep low where the air is clearer
  • Before you open a door, check if it’s warm.  If it is, don’t open it – fire is on the other side
  • Call 999 as soon as you’re clear of the building.  Get out, stay out, call the fire service out.


What to do if your escape is blocked

  • If you can’t get out, get everyone into 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.



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