Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to clear any clutter that may be blocking the escape routes in their homes.
Working smoke alarms save lives during emergencies, giving people the warning they need to get out of their home in a fire. But blocked exits, locked doors or unfamiliar surroundings can shave vital seconds from their escape time.
The following steps could make all the difference in an emergency situation:
- Think about how you would all get out in a fire, making and practising an escape plan will help ensure that everyone can get out.
- Fit at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home so smoke can reach the alarms quicker giving you more warning time.
- Test your smoke alarms weekly. Smoke alarms can save your life, but only if they work.
- Clear your escape routes. Make sure you’re able to escape without tripping over.
- 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.
Consider the following if you also care for children or other vulnerable people:
- How will they get out? Plan an escape route that works for them and think of any difficulties they may have or help they may need getting out.
- Where is the best place to go if the worst happens and they can’t escape? This is especially important if they have trouble moving around.
Paul Scott, Prevention Manager said: Every second counts when escaping a fire. Having working smoke alarms and knowing the escape plan in an emergency could make all the difference.
“If you have dependants or someone to care for, it could take more time to get out. Make sure you’re always prepared, your exits are clear and everyone knows what to do in an emergency.”