'Get out, stay out and call 999.'
That is the message of a public safety campaign being launched today
A recent survey* highlighted a worrying three-fold increase in the
number of people who said they would attempt to tackle a fire
themselves during a fire brigade strike, compared to their behaviour
under non-strike conditions.
Disturbingly, those most at risk from fire were shown to be those
least likely to call 999 during strike action.
Nick Raynsford, minister responsible for the fire service, said:
'If a fire breaks out in your home, you should get out, stay out and
call 999. Do not attempt to tackle the fire yourself.
'There are a number of things that you can do that can help protect
you and your family and prevent fires. Most importantly, fit a
working smoke alarm on every floor of your home and take extra care
when cooking chips or with hot oil.'
The£1.8m campaign will comprise both press and radio
advertising and will be supported by leaflets delivered direct to
over four million homes via free newspapers.
Additionally, further information on fire safety can be found onlineor by calling the public information hotline on 0845 0800723.
There are a number of things that people can do to keep themselves
and their families safe from fire. These include some tips to prevent
fires before they start:
- Install working smoke alarms on every floor of your home
- Check batteries and if necessary replace them in battery powered
- Take extra care when cooking chips or with hot oil
- Make sure you extinguish cigarettes with care
- Never leave candles unattended
- Switch off unnecessary electrical appliances at night
- Make sure matches and lighters are out of children's reach
*What would you do if a fire started in your home? In a recent
survey, the overwhelming response (85%) to this question was, call
999 and get the fire brigade. Only 7% said they would try to tackle
the blaze themselves.
However, when asked if they would do the same during a fire brigade
strike, there was a worrying increase in those who declared that they
would have a go at putting out the fire themselves. A leap of over
15% would attempt to fight the fire before calling 999.
Don't put your life at risk, if a fire starts in your home, get out,
stay out and call 999.
For further information please contact the Fire Communication Centre
on 0207 276 5010
GET OUT, STAY OUT AND CALL 999 FAQ's
Can I still call 999 if a fire starts in my home?
Yes. Still dial 999 and the appropriate emergency service will be
sent to help you
Will a fire engine turn up if I call 999?
The Army will be operating their fire engines 'Green Goddesses';
these will attend emergency situations where a person's life is
threatened by fire.
What can I do to make myself safer from fire?
The first thing you should do is fit a working smoke alarm on every
level of your home
Are they expensive?
No, not at all, you can get them for about a fiver, they are also
easy to install
I have a smoke alarm, is this enough?
That's a great start, but make sure you check the batteries regularly
to ensure it's working. Also make sure you have one on every level in
your home. However, there are plenty of other things you can do to
keep fire safe.
Sit down with your family and make a Fire Action Plan, this will help
you know how to escape should fire start in your home. Make sure you
have an alternative exit route if you main way out is blocked by fire
and keep door and window keys handy to speed your escape.
What else can I do?
Never leave candles unattended and make sure you've extinguished them
properly. The same goes for cigarettes, fill ashtrays with water
before emptying them into the bin, a smouldering cigarette can be a
Should I take special care in the kitchen?
Yes - the kitchen is the most dangerous room. Be particularly careful
when cooking with hot oil, never leave the pan unattended. Why not
think about changing to a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer
instead? Remember to turn off all appliances and the cooker when
you've finished preparing a meal.
Are there any other things I should do?
Make sure matches and lighters are kept well out of the way of
What can I do to keep safe from fire at night?
Before you go to bed each night, do a safety check. Switch off as
many electrical appliances as you can and check gas appliances and
place a spark guard in front of an open fire. And remember to close
all doors; they will slow down the spread of fire.
I have a portable heater; can I still use this safely?
Yes, put it in a place that is clear from clothing, furniture and
soft furnishings and make sure it can't be knocked over.
Where can I go for more advice?
For specific queries or for a free leaflet, call our general
information line: 0845 0800723 (8am-10pm). You can also find useful
fire safety information on our website: www.firekills.gov.uk. But
even during a strike, your local fire brigade will be able to answer
any queries related to fire safety.