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A small spring clean could make a big difference

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking residents, as part of a month-long Fire Kills campaign, to clear any clutter that may be blocking their escape routes and to make sure their loved ones know how to get out, stay out, and call 999 in the event of a fire.

Working smoke alarms are regularly the heroes in a fire, giving people the warning they need to get out of their home, but blocked exits, locked doors or unfamiliar surroundings can shave vital seconds from escape time.

Gail Muirhead, West Hub Prevention Manager, said: “Every second counts when escaping a fire. Having working smoke alarms is the crucial first step to protecting yourself and your loved ones from a fire, but it is also important that you know what to do if they go off.

“Make sure that you and everyone in your household knows how to get out and is well-prepared for an emergency by planning and practising your escape routes and clearing any clutter from exit points. If everybody in your household knows the escape plan, they will have a much better chance of getting out safely should a fire break out.”

Follow our simple steps to help keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Plan and practise your escape plan. Ensure that everyone can get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Clear clutter from your escape routes. Make sure you’re able to escape without tripping over to ensure a speedy exit.
  • Keep your door and window keys in a known and accessible place. Make sure everyone knows where the door and window keys are kept so they can reach them easily and get out quicker in case of a fire.
  • Make a plan for if you can’t get out. If you can’t get out, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone. Put bedding around the bottom of the door to block out the smoke, then open the window and call for help.
  • Fit working smoke alarms in your home. Smoke alarms give you more time to escape, so fit one on every level of your home and test them weekly.

To find more information, please visit the Making an Escape Plan page on our website.