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How to protect your home from fire

On this page

  • Fit and test smoke alarms
  • Register appliances
  • Plan your escape
  • Make a bedtime check
  • Consider a free home safety visit

Fit and test smoke alarms

Testing smoke alarm

The easiest way to protect your home and family from fire is with working smoke alarms. Make sure you have at least one on every level of your home and test them at least monthly.

How to choose, fit and test smoke alarms

Register appliances

If you buy appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges and freezers, you should register them with the manufacturer. This is so the manufacturer can contact you if they identify a fault with the appliance and it is recalled because it is not safe.

 You should also register appliances that are already in your home. To do this please go to the register my appliance website.

Plan your escape

Family leaving home

You should plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to escape. The best route is the normal way in and out of your home but you should think of a second route in case the first one is blocked. Take a few minutes to practise your escape plan and review the plan if the layout of your home changes.

Rules to remember:

  • keep door and window keys where everyone can find them
  • keep exits clear
  • avoid using lifts and balconies if there is a fire

If you live in a block of flats:

  • check there is nothing in communal corridors or stairways that could catch fire – like boxes or rubbish
  • count how many doors you need to go through to reach the stairs – it is easy to get confused in smoke
  • make sure doors to stairways are not locked
  • make sure everyone in the building knows where the fire alarm call points, if any
  • ensure you have working smoke alarms in your home, even if there is a warning system in your block

Visit our fire safety in blocks of flats page for more information.

Do the bedtime check

Father and daughter at bedtime

You are more at risk from a fire when asleep so it’s a good idea to check your home before you go to bed. You should: 

  • close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading
  • turn off and unplug electrical appliances unless they are designed to be left on – like your freezer.
  • check your cooker is turned off
  • not leave the washing machine on
  • turn heaters off and put up fireguards
  • put candles and cigarettes out properly
  • make sure exits are kept clear
  • keep door and window keys where everyone can find them

Download the leaflet: Fire safety in the home (PDF, 692.77 KB, 24 pages)

Download the easy read leaflet: Fire – make your home safe (PDF, 1.14MB, 24 pages)

What to do if there is a fire

Don’t tackle the fires yourself. Leave it to the professionals.  

  • Keep calm and act quickly, get everyone out as soon as possible
  • Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables
  • If there’s a smoke, keep low where the air is clearer
  • Before you open the door check if it’s warm. If it is, don’t open it - fire is on the other side.
  • Call 999 as soon as you’re clear of the building. 999 calls are free.

Consider a free home fire safety visit

Fire safety in the home guide

A free home fire safety visit, sometimes known as a safe and well visit, is a good way to get expert fire safety advice, including advice on how to escape if there is a fire and how to prevent a fire in your home. These can be particularly helpful for vulnerable individuals and households where there is a greater risk of fire.

In addition to fire risks, the visit may explore if someone could benefit from other local services such as health and accident prevention services.

If you – or anyone you live with – would benefit from a visit, please contact your local fire and rescue service.

Find your fire and rescue service