It can be as simple as finding where you need to stand on the train platform to get near a door, or as important as knowing what to do in the unlikely event of a fire in your home or building.
Get to know your home
It may sound obvious, but the first place you need to get comfortable with is your new place. This means working out where your closest (primary) exit is and your back-up or secondary exit if the closest exit is blocked. It’s also about knowing what your escape routes are and making sure you keep them clear of anything that might trip you or get in your way in an emergency situation.
But preventing fire is almost more important than knowing what to do if there’s a fire. Around half of all house fires are caused by cooking accidents, while smoking indoors and candles are contributors as well. The first thing you should do is test your smoke alarms. You should do this once a fortnight at least and replace the batteries (if they have them) every time the clocks go forward or back.
You should also have a think how your curtains hang, whether little hands can reach up and pull things down or knock things over, and not putting your furniture too close to your heaters. It may also be worth checking your wall heaters to see if any stray items have been pushed between the gaps.
Get to know your building
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with your new home, it’s time to review what the plans and procedures are for your building. The building’s evacuation plan will be posted in communal areas, so this is a good place to start.
If you can’t find your building’s evacuation plan, please contact us.
Work out where your nearest exits are and walk to each of them from your home – especially if you have children living with you. Some buildings will have different instructions depending on what floor you live on, so make sure you know what to do for your home specifically.
Is there someone in your home who may need extra assistance?
If you or someone in your household would need help to evacuate if there were a fire, it’s so important that you have a plan in place. Here are some of the things you might like to think about and plan around:
- Are you less able to react to a fire alarm, due to a hearing impairment, for example?
- Could you unlock your front door unassisted if necessary?
- Can you use the stairs?
Remember, your local fire brigade may be able to come out to you for a home fire safety visit, to help you identify potential risks in your home and put together an escape plan in case a fire does break out. They also have a great home fire safety checker online, where you can get specific advice for your home or for the home of someone you care about.
And if you or someone in your household has limited mobility please let us know so we can support you better. This might be due to a temporary injury such as a broken leg, or a more permanent situation such as a chronic condition or disability.
Find out more about fire safety
Our help section has a fantastic list of resources and articles covering everything you need to know about fire safety.