Fire Safety and Prevention (Safe and Well)

Fire Safety and Prevention

There is a 1 in 5 chance that a person will experience a serious fire in their lifetime. Most fires within the home start accidentally and you are 7 times more likely to die in a fire if you do not have working smoke alarm.

Over the past 10 years Fire and Rescue Services have seen a significant decrease in the number of fire related incidents and a dramatic increase in the number of homes fitted with smoke alarms.

Fire and Rescue Services are now delivering Safe and Well home visits for their local communities to do more. Early intervention and prevention is at the heart of their efforts to support the safety and the health and well-being of people in our communities.

Fire safety at home

Most fires in the home start accidentally and the effects can be devastating

It is important that you know how to reduce the chances of a fire starting in your home and keep yourself, your family and your property safe from fire.

For the past 10 years, Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) have focused considerable efforts on reducing fire risk and preventing avoidable harm across the life course. Much of this work has been undertaken alongside a range of partners.

Safe and Well visits have expanded on the content of the traditional Home Safety Visit, to include advice to help an individual improve their health and wellbeing – with the ultimate goal of reducing their risk from fire. The risk factors for fire are closely aligned to the risk factors for increased vulnerability to poor health.

The following is a list of vulnerabilities that may indicate a person is at more risk of harm from fire:

Someone is considered more at risk from a fire in the home if they:

  • Are aged over 65
  • If they smoke
  • They live alone
  • Have an impairment (which may impair they ability to leave the home safety in an emergency)

Very Brief Intervention


Please can I ask you a few questions about Fire Safety in your home?

Do you have working smoke alarms in your property?

  • Explain that having a working smoke alarm is the easiest way of protecting your home and family from fire

Can you remember when you last tested your fire alarm?

  • Explain that people tend to forget to test their alarm regularly (ideally every week) and that standard batteries should ideally be replaced every year
  • Try and make fire alarm testing part of your regular routine

Did you know that your local Fire and Rescue service offer a range of advice on Fire Safety and Prevention and in some cases, can provide what they call a Safe and Well visit, would you like some more information on this?

Would you like some further information on how you can avoid fires in your home?


The person has requested some further information on Fire Safety advice or a Safe and Well visit from their Local Fire and Rescue Service

  • Explain that ‘Safe and Well’ is an extended Home Fire Safety visit that is tailored to an individual’s needs. The visit covers Fire Safety along with advice and support to promote good health and wellbeing.

Your local Fire and Rescue Service will prioritise Safe and Well visits to the most vulnerable people in our community. The following is a list of vulnerabilities that may indicate a person is at more risk of harm from fire:

  • The person doesn’t have working smoke detectors in the property
  • The person lives alone
  • There is someone living in the home aged 65 or over
  • There is a smoker living in the property
  • There is someone in the home that might not hear the smoke alarm sounding, either awake or asleep
  • There is someone living in the home that would experience difficulties escaping in the event of a fire due to physical disability or health condition
  • There is someone living in the home that would be at an increased risk of fire because of memory issues, poor mental health or a learning disability
  • There is someone living in the home that is currently taking medication that makes them feel sleepy during the day
  • There is a someone living in the home that uses paraffin-based creams.
  • There is someone living in the home that uses the following; Home Oxygen equipment or an Airflow pressure relieving mattress and cushions.
  • Hoarding or storage of large amounts of combustible materials that could potentially impede an escape (such as items in hallways and on staircases causing obstructions or trip hazards)

The above is not an exhausted list but if the answer is YES to any of the above then please encourage the person to enquire about a Safe and Well Visit - *(See ACT Section)

The person has requested some further information on fire avoidance in the home

  • Smoke Alarms: Remind about the importance of Smoke alarms
    • Make testing part of your household routine
    • Test by pressing the button until the alarm sounds
    • If your smoke alarm(s) start to beep on a regular basis, you will need to replace the batteries/alarm
  • In the Kitchen: State that around half of all home fires are caused by cooking accidents:
    • Do not leave cooking unattended and take pans off heat, switch off if you leave the kitchen.
    • Take care if wearing loose clothing and keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker/hob.
    • When deep fat frying ensure food is dry before placing in hot oil and never throw water onto a deep fat fryer or chip pan.
    • If a pan catches fire – turn heat off if possible. Get out, close the door behind you, leave the house and call 999. Do not try to extinguish the fire with water or a tea towel
  • Other white goods in the kitchen/utility areas
    • Don't leave the washing machine or dishwasher running overnight or while you are out
    • For tumble dryers:
      • Remove the lint from the trap after every load of clothes dried
      • Do not cover the vent or any other opening
      • Ensure the vent pipe is free of kinks and is not crushed in any way
  • Cigarettes – Highlight the importance of safe disposal
    • Always ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished
    • Only use proper ashtrays and never place directly into a bin
    • Never smoke in bed and avoid smoking when taking medication that causes drowsiness, drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs.
    • Keep cigarettes and matches away and out of reach of children
  • Electrics – Highlight the importance of not overloading sockets
    • Try to keep to one plug per socket
    • Check and replace old or frayed electrical cables
    • Keep portable heaters away from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes
    • Always switch off before going to bed
    • Never leave electric hair straighteners on carpets and beds
    • Keep laptops on firm surface and not on sofas, beds or carpets
  • Candles – Highlight the importance of securing candles in proper holders
    • Keep away from curtains, soft furnishings and other flammable materials
    • Never leave children or pets alone in a room when candles are lit. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room


Fire and Rescue Service Safe and Well

Please use the Local Support and Contact details section below for signposting information to request either a Safe and Well visit for further Fire Safety advice from the Fire and Rescue Service.

Further information on Safe and Well can be found on the links below:

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

If you have fire safety concerns about anyone you know or work with, you can make a Safe & Well referral to us to see if they are eligible for a safe and well visit.

Tel: 0300 303 8242– Request a Safe & Well Visit (Assisted Support).

Web: – Safe & Well Visit Online Referral Pathway (Self-Help and Partner Referral).

If you or the occupier are not eligible for a safe and well visit, you will be sent free tailored advice to keep you and your family safe in your home.

North Yorkshire Fire Rescue Service

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have worked with a wide range of partners to develop and introduce Safe and Well visits.

Tel: 01609 788545 (Request a Safe & Well Visit)


South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

To contact us about booking a visit, please visit the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Tel: 0114 2532314 - (Request a Safe & Well Visit)



West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

A Safe and Well visits are only carried out by trained Fire and Rescue service staff, at a convenient time for the person.

Whilst we’d like to offer visits to all West Yorkshire residents we simply aren’t able to. As such we focus our visits on the most vulnerable people in our community.

Tel: 0800 587 4536 – (Request a Safe and Well Visit)

Web: – Safe and Well Visit On line Education and Referral Pathway

Self Care

Establish a Bedtime Routine

  • Close all internal doors fully
  • Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical appliances
  • Check your oven and/ or hob is turned off
  • Ensure candles and cigarettes are fully extinguished
  • Keep your door and window lock keys in an accessible place on the route out of the property        

Make an Escape Plan

  • Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to escape
  • Make sure exits are kept clear
  • Ensure you have easy access to a phone in your bedroom at night
  • Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them easily
  • Review your plan if your ability to escape or your property layout changes

What to do if there is a Fire

  • Keep calm and act quickly get everyone out as soon as possible
  • Do not tackle the fire yourself
  • Before you open a door check if it’s warm, if it is do not open it as fire may be on the other side
  • If there is smoke , keep low where the air is clearer
  • If your clothes catch fire you should lie down and roll around. If possible, smother the flames with a heavy material such as a coat or a blanket – remember – STOP DROP and ROLL

What to do if you cannot get out

  • If safe to do so gather everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone
  • Put bedding around the bottom of the door to block out smoke

Call 999- an operator will offer survival advice whilst you are on the phone

  • If you do not have access to a phone, open the window and shout “HELP FIRE”



Hoarding UK

Hoarding UK is the only UK-wide charity solely dedicated to supporting people affected by hoarding behaviours. Our aim is to empower individuals experiencing hoarding behaviours to achieve spatial and personal change, to reduce isolation and improve their health and well-being. We are a multi-service organisation, helping thousands of people over our ten years of service. In 2017, for example, we supported over 1,000 new people and professionals through our National Helpline.

Tel: 020 3239 1600 or 07444 791 500