How to survive if you’re trapped in a fire

If the fire alarm goes off, you need to act quickly – but unfortunately, sometimes due to faulty fire alarms or open fire doors, the fire spreads too quickly which can cause those inside to become trapped.  It’s a good idea to have an idea of what you can do in the event of a fire to keep yourself and others safe for as long as possible, until help reaches you. 

Apartment building after a fire


Firstly, getting everyone out of the area where the immediate fire is located is crucial to longer survival time. If you’re in a room that has windows, open them immediately to let out smoke and stay low to the ground, as smoke rises and the majority of deaths occurring from fires are due to smoke inhalation. If you have water and a cloth available, wet the cloth and hold it against your face to prevent inhaling smoke into your lungs whilst you’re trying to escape. 

Then, when trying to move from room to room, before opening the door, make sure the door handle isn’t warm, as this can be an indication that the fire is on the other side. 

When trying to escape a fire, it is highly advised that you stick to the stairs where possible, as lifts might malfunction during a fire and leave you trapped in a dangerous place. Vacating the vicinity via the window isn’t advised, but if there is no other option, do not jump – instead, lower yourself by your arms and drop. By trying to push out a mattress or other cushioning materials, you might block the window and make it impossible for firefighters to reach you. If you have no means of escape, try to block all areas that will let smoke in, such as ventilation shafts and under the door, and wait until trained firefighters reach you. 

Preventative measures

People often get trapped in a fire due to the lack of fire safety equipment installed in a building, or lack of maintenance. By not regularly checking fire alarms and letting faulty fire doors go unfixed, you’re only putting yourself and others at risk in the event of a fire. To avoid ever getting trapped in a fire, it’s important you have some basic fire safety equipment installed, such as:

  • Fire alarms – making sure you have fire alarms fitted and working in your property, regularly checking the batteries are charged.
  • Fire escape plans – checking all your fire escape plans are up to date and take into account any new builds or layouts.
  • Readily available fire extinguishers – having the suitable fire extinguishers on hand can prevent a widespread fire and literally save lives. 
  • Fire doors – fire doors should be installed in every commercial building and regularly inspected to ensure the seals are still airtight. 


Here at Cheshire Fire, we’ve been educating the local community and local businesses on fire safety for years, and supplying fire extinguishers, fire alarms and fire safety training all at a competitive price. For more information on our products and services, please get in touch with a member of our team today.