What to do if there is a fire

If the smoke alarm wakes you up, shout to wake everyone else up. Then get everyone together, follow your escape plan and get out of the building.

  • Do not stop to investigate the fire or to collect valuables or pets.
  • Use your escape route to get everyone out and meet at an agreed point.
  • Close any open doors, and only open the doors you need to go through (this will help to stop the fire from spreading rapidly).
  • Check doors with the back of your hand. If a door is warm, don’t open it – the fire is on the other side.
  • If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor as the air will be cleanest there.
  • Once you’ve got everyone out of the building, use a mobile phone, a neighbour’s phone or a phone box to call 999 and ask for the Fire Brigade.
  • Don’t go back into the building for anything. If there is still someone inside, tell the firefighters when they arrive – they’ll be able to find the person faster and more safely than you.
  • Find somewhere safe to wait near the building, and give the firefighters as much information as possible about the fire and the building.
  • Call Leydon Lettings on 01227 713913 (office hours) 078 345 404 57 (out of office hours)

What to do if your clothes catch fire

  • Don’t run around – you’ll fan the flames and make them burn faster.
  • Lie down and roll around. This smothers the flames and makes it harder for them to spread.
  • Smother the flames with heavy material, like a coat, a blanket or a fire blanket.

Your home fire safety guide:

Make sure the smoke alarm is in good working condition by testing it weekly.


Never smoke in bed or in an armchair if you think you may fall asleep.

Do not leave a lit cigarette, pipe or candle unattended.

Use deep ashtrays so that cigarettes cannot roll out, and don’t throw hot ash into the bin.

Matches and candles

Keep matches and lighters well out of the reach of children.

Heating and electrics

Sit at least three feet away from heaters.

Never put a heater near clothes or furniture.

Don’t overload electrical sockets.

Communal areas, stairs and balconies

Never store anything in communal areas, including balconies. Items can block your escape route and be a fire risk.

Stay safe when you’re sleeping

Before going to bed always:

  • Close all the doors as this helps to prevent fire spreading.
  • Switch off and unplug all electrical appliances except those that are meant to stay on, like the fridge.
  • Make sure the cooker and heaters are turned off.
  • Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them.

Take extra care in the kitchen

  • Don’t cook if you are tired or have been drinking.
  • Never leave pans unattended when cooking.

If a pan does catch fire:

  • Don’t try to move it or throw water on to it – that will make it worse.
  • Turn off the heat if you can do so safely.
  • Place a metal pan lid over the pan  if you can do so safely – fire cannot burn if you cut of the oxygen supply.
  • If in any doubt, leave the room, close the door, shout to warn others and call 999.

About the author


Digital Media and Design student on placement from Bournemouth Uni. Danny helps manage the social networks, website, blog and design work for Leydon Lettings.

He's here to help with your uni experience and to keep you up to date with all things student and Canterbury based.