A fire in your home is one of the biggest risks to your family and property. The Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s community safety team offers free advice and information aimed at helping you to minimise the risks. They can be contacted on: 0845 6012495 or online at www.essex-fire.gov.uk
You may find the following useful in keeping you and your family safe:
> Smoke alarms,
- Fit alarms on each level of your home.
- Test the alarm is working on a weekly basis.
- Change the battery regularly (unless it’s a ten year alarm).
> Identify escape routes from each room.
> Keep the exits from your home clear.
> Ensure everyone can find keys for doors and windows.
> Take extra care when cooking especially when tired or if you have been drinking.
> Do not smoke in bed.
> Never leave a burning candle unattended
> Do not overload electrical sockets – one plug for each socket.
> Close doors at night to slow down the progress of any fire that may break out.
If a fire breaks out in your home
> GET OUT – Get everyone together and get out. If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air is cleaner.
> STAY OUT – Don’t go back into the house for any reason.
> CALL OUT – Dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service.
If your escape is blocked:-
> Get everyone in one room.
> Close the door and put bedding or towels along the bottom to seal the gap.
> Open any windows for fresh air.
> Dial 999 or shout for help and get someone else to make the call.
After a fire
> Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
> Do not switch on fire, gas or water if the fire and rescue service has turned it off.
> Get these supplies checked and repaired before being reconnected.
> When the emergency services leave you are responsible for the security of your property.
If your accommodation is unusable following a fire
> Try to arrange accommodation with family or friends.
> Contact the local authority-housing officer.
> Inform the police of your situation and where you can be contacted.