• Fit at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and in any room where a fire could start.
• Remember to test all your alarms monthly.
• Fitting interlinked alarms will give everyone in your home the earliest warning of fire.
• It is safer not to smoke.
. Try to smoke outside and make sure cigarettes are put right out.
• Never smoke in bed, or anywhere else if you think you might fall asleep.
. Do not leave a lit cigarette or pipe unattended.
• Use proper ashtrays and never throw hot ash into the bin.
• Keep matches and lighters well out of the reach of children.
• Candles, tea lights and incense burners should only be placed in stable, heat-resistant holders.
• Keep candles well away from curtains, furniture and clothes.
Heating and electrics
. Sit at least one metre away from heaters.
• Keep heaters well away from anything that can catch alight
• Don’t overload electrical sockets.
• Fit a heat alarm in the kitchen, they detect the increase in temperature caused by a fire but will not be set off by cooking fumes.
• Never leave pans unattended when cooking. Don’t cook if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that might make you drowsy.
If the pan does catch fire:
• Don’t tackle the fire yourself or try to move the pan.
• Neverthrow water onto it as this can create a fireball. If you can do so safely – turn off the heat.
• Leave the room and close the door. Shout to warn others to get out, stay out and call 999.
• Close all doors as this helps to prevent fire spreading
• Switch off and unplug electrical items such as TVs and avoid charging devices like mobile phones when you sleep.
• Only leave essential appliances switched on such as the fridge or freezer, turn all others off.
• Make sure candles are out before you go to bed.
• Check your cooker and heaters are turned off.
Plan your escape
• Make an escape plan and practise it regularly to make sure everyone knows how to get out safely.
• The best route is the normal way in and out of your home.
. Plan a second route in case the first one is blocked.
• Never store anything in communal areas including balconies. Items can block your escape route and be a fire risk.
. Always keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them.
• If any of your smoke alarms go off when you are asleep, follow your escape plan, get out and call 999.
• Shout ‘FIRE’ to warn others and don’t stop to pick up valuables
. Check closed doors with the back of your hand. Do not open the door if it feels warm- the fire may be on the other side.
• Smoke can kill, get down as low as possible where the air will be clearer.
• If your escape is blocked by fire it may be safer to stay put until the fire brigade arrives. Close the door and use soft materials to block any gaps to stop the smoke. If you have a phone call 999. go to a window, shout “HELP, FIRE” and wait to be rescued.
If your flat or maisonette is being affected by fire or smoke and your escape route is clear:
• Get everyone out, close the door and walk calmly out of the building
. Do not use the lift.
• Call 999, give your address, the number of your flat and state which floor the fire is on
If there is a fire or smoke inside your flat or maisonette and your escape route is NOT clear:
• It may be safer to stay in your flat or maisonette until the fire brigade arrives.
• Find a safe room close the door and use soft materials to block any gaps to stop the smoke.
• Go to a window, shout “HELP, FIRE” and call 999.
• Be ready to describe where you are and the quickest way to reach you.
If there is a fire in another part of the building:
• Purpose-built maisonettes or blocks of flats are built to give you some protection from fire. Walls, floors and doors can hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes.
. You are usually safer staying put and calling 999. Tell the fire brigade where you are and the best way to reach you.
• If you are within the common parts of the building, leave and call 999.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste and can kill quickly. If you have a solid fuel burner, open fire or a gas boiler get them serviced regularly and fit a CO alarm.
Faulty electrical goods can cause fires. If you are concerned about the safety of a product: stop using it and let the retailer, manufacturer or your local Trading Standards office know. Take extra care with second-hand appliances, and ensure they have been safety checked. A list of recalled products is available at: www.london-fire.gov.uk/product-recalls