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In the event of a fire 

What to do in a fire

If the worst should happen, and there is a fire in your house, at the first sign of fire:


  • If there are others in the house, shout ‘FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!’
  • 'Get Down, Get Low, Get out - Fast.'
  • Get on your hands and knees and crawl low and fast to escape smoke. Heat and smoke rise so it is easier to breathe and to see at ground level.
  • If you can, close doors behind you to stop the fire spreading.
  • Always keep your keys in the door deadlocks when you are at home. People have died in fires because their doors have been deadlocked with the keys kept elsewhere and they couldn’d get out.
  • Call 111 immediately either from a mobile phone or a neighbour’s house.
  • Once out, stay out - never go back inside.
  • Meet at the planned meeting place - somewhere safely away from the house.
  • If you can’t get out of the house, close the door of the room you are in and put a towel under it to stop the smoke coming in. Go to the window and yell ‘FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!’ Wait to be rescued.

What you need to tell the Fire Service

When you call 111 you will need to give our staff the following information to help us find the fire:

  • house number
  • street name
  • nearest intersection
  • suburb and city
  • Rural Address Property Identification (RAPID)number if you have one.

What to do after a fire

Nothing can really prepare you for the impact of a fire or other emergency on your family and property. Even a small fire or flood can make you feel helpless and unsure of what to do next. This is entirely understandable. We regularly see home owners faced with the same distressing situation.

At the scene

Here are some important things you need to do now that the unimaginable has happened.
Do not enter your damaged house unless you have to and have been told that it is safe to do so.


We will check the water, electricity and gas supplies and either arrange to have them disconnected or advise you what action to take.

If you can't enter your home you'll need to arrange accommodation. You may need to stay with family, friends, or in a motel for at least 1 night You may need to stay longer if your house has been seriously damaged.


When your house is safe and you are allowed back:

  • Try to find your
    • identification
    • insurance information
    • medication information
    • eye glasses
    • hearing aid, and
    • wallet and valuables.
  • If the house is too badly damaged to live in board up openings to discourage trespassers
  • You may need to arrange security patrols to protect your house from burglary
  • Keep receipts for expenses resulting from the fire such as accommodation or clothes
  • Get supplies of medicine or eye glasses.

Your reaction is normal

It is normal to feel unsettled and disrupted for a while. You may well be able to overcome any problems yourself but don't be afraid to ask for help.

After a crisis it is often easier to talk to someone who is not involved and who is trained to listen and to help you find the services you need.

Victim Support provides a free, flexible, and confidential service. You can phone them on 0800 VICTIM (0800 842 846).


The devastation after a fire
The devastation after a fire