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Plan your escape

Plan a safe escape

Fitting a smoke alarm is the first crucial step to protecting yourself from the fire. But what would you do if it went off during the night?

This section will help you make a plan ready for an emergency. For further advice on planning escape routes, please contact our Community Safety Team on +44 1624 647303.

Be prepared by making a plan of escape

  • Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to escape
  • Make sure exits are kept clear
  • The best route is the normal way in and out of your home
  • Think of a second route in case the first one is blocked
  • Take a few minutes to practice your escape plan
  • Review your plan if the layout of your home changes

Top tip

Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them.

What to do if there is a fire

  • 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 smoke, keep low where the air is clearer
  • Before you open a 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

Top tip

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

What to do if you clothes catch fire

  • Don’t run around, you’ll make the flames worse
  • Lie Down and roll around. It makes it harder for the fire to spread
  • Smother the flames with a heavy material, like a coat or blanket
  • Remember, Stop, Drop and Roll!

stop drop and roll

Insuring your property

The Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service fully recommends that all home owners or tenants have up-to-date house and/or contents insurance cover.

Over the years we have witnessed the distress and trauma that having no insurance can bring to a family following a traumatic incident such as fire.

House insurance protects your home, its contents, and, indirectly, your other assets in the event of fires, theft, accidents or other disasters.

Can you afford to come home to this?

House fire

What to do if your escape route is blocked

  • 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 'HELP, FIRE'
  • If you’re on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through a window
  • Use bedding to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully. Don’t jump

Top tip

If you can’t open the window, break the glass in the bottom corner. Make jagged edges safe with a towel or blanket.

How to escape through a window

How to escape from a high level building

  • Avoid using lifts and balconies if there is a fire
  • It is easy to get confused in smoke, so count how many doors you need to go through to reach the stairs
  • Check there is nothing in the corridors or stairways that could catch fire – like boxes or rubbish
  • Make sure doors to stairways are not locked
  • Make sure everyone in the building knows where the fire alarms are
  • You should still get a smoke alarm for your home, even if there is a warning system in the block

Make a bedtime check

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


  • 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
  • Don’t 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

Top tip

Firefighters recommend taking a mobile phone to bed with you to contact the emergency services if needed.

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