If You Have a Fire

Raise the alarm, get to safety, and do not attempt to extinguish the fire yourself. This is when many people become injured.

Every second counts when you have a fire in the home. Acting quickly can save your life. It’s important to plan ahead and think about what you would do in the event of a fire.

Remember: don’t try to put the fire out yourself. Get out, stay out, and call us out by dialling 999.

Get out. Stay out. Call us out.

If you have a fire in your home, there are three things you should do right away: get out, stay out, and call us out via 999.

Tell the operator as much information as you can about the fire. Do not try to go back into the property, or to put the fire out yourself.

  1. If you find a fire in your home, raise the alarm.

  2. Alert everyone inside the property as quickly as you can.

  3. Get everyone outside to safety if you can.

  4. Call the emergency services immediately by dialling 999.

  5. Do not reenter the building for any reason.

It might seem like a good idea to go back inside to find people or retrieve valuables. But fire isn’t dangerous only because of its heat. Smoke can make you sick or cause you to lose consciousness, even if you stay well away from the flames. That’s why it’s so important to stay out.

Firefighters will rush to your home as quickly as possible. When they arrive, listen to their advice and give them space to extinguish the fire.

Planning ahead

It makes a huge difference in an emergency if you’re already prepared for one. You should take the time to plan multiple escape routes, and make sure everyone in your household knows what they are. It’s especially important to know how children and elderly or disabled people can get out.

Keep escape routes clear of items, and always know where your keys are in case you need to get outside.

You can learn more about making your own escape plans on our website.

If you become trapped

Planning ahead might not always guarantee you can get out in an emergency. If your escape is blocked by fire, there are practical steps you can take to help protect yourself.

  • Close any doors between you and the smoke or flames.

  • Try to block any gaps around the door using towels, clothing, or curtains.

  • Open a window if it is safe to do so – think about items falling from above.

  • If smoke comes in through the window, close it straight away.

  • Shout to make your presence known to firefighters.

What to do after a fire

If you’ve had a fire at your property, you’ll know how upsetting and traumatic this can be. We have put together some advice which we hope will help you at this difficult time.

  • If you rent or lease your property, contact your landlord and inform them of the fire.

  • Any cash that is partially burnt can be exchanged for replacements at a bank.

Boarding up your home

You should take steps to protect your home after a fire; unsecured buildings are vulnerable to thieves and vandals.

  • Call the police and tell them that your building is empty after a fire.

  • Organise boarding up if necessary. Private companies are available to do this, the cost of which may be covered by your home insurance. If you are in council accommodation, contact your housing provider to organise this.

Power and water supply

When you’ve had a fire, it’s likely your electricity, water, and gas supplies will have been isolated by our firefighters, or possibly the utility companies. Always get these supplies thoroughly checked by qualified professionals before reactivating the supply.

That means qualified electricians, gas engineers, and plumbers – some people get hurt when trying to reconnect their own supply.


  • If you have insurance, it’s really important to contact your provider straight away. Ask them for a claims form and make sure you complete and return it.

  • If you don’t have insurance, you might be able to get help from your local Social Security office.