Bedfordshire residents urged to clean their way to safety

Clear the clutter
Clear the clutter

It may be the last month of spring, but there’s still time to squeeze in a final spring clean.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging you to ditch the clutter that may be blocking escape routes and to make sure their family, guests and 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 in a fire.

But blocked exits, locked doors or unfamiliar surroundings can shave vital seconds from their escape time.

We all know we need to take time to test our smoke alarms, but this week make time for your home and take some simple steps to help keep your loved ones safe:

1. Think about how you’d all get out in case of a fire, making an escape plan and practising it will help ensure that everyone can get out, stay out and call 999

2. Fit at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home so smoke can reach the alarms quicker giving you more warning time.

3. Test your smoke alarms monthly - smoke alarms can save your life, but only if they work.

4. Clear your escape routes. Make sure you’re able to escape without tripping over to ensure a speedy exit

5. 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.

Do you care for others, children and loved ones? If yes, then you need to consider the following:

• 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.

Would they benefit from a torch to light their way or a stair rail?

• 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 or can’t get downstairs on their own.

• Who’s your ‘Escape Champ’? Nominate someone in your home (perhaps a child) to be the ‘Escape Champ’.

Role-playing escape routes regularly and giving children the responsibility to keep escape routes clear makes fire safety more fun and engaging.

“Every second counts when escaping a fire. Having working smoke alarms and knowing the escape plan in an emergency could make all the difference,” said Community Safety team manager Pete Buckingham.

“If you have dependants or someone less able to care for, it could take more time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure you’re always prepared, your exits are clear and everyone knows what to do if the worst should happen.”

To find out more fire safety information, visit www.bedsfire.com