A Dartford mum is urging other families across the county to have an escape plan and to practice it regularly, after a fire in her home earlier this year.

The fire started in the early hours of 1 March 2016 when the immersion heater in the airing cupboard developed a fault and caught fire. The family all managed to escape safely.

Cheryl Woodgate, who lived at Brewers Field until the terrifying fire, recently took her children to meet the Dartford firefighters who attended their house fire, in the hope it would help her two children (aged 3 and 6), who were still affected by the fire.

The firefighters talked to the children about what happened that night, the family were given a tour around the fire station and one of the fire engines that was used to tackle the blaze.

For more information about family safety please call 0800 923 7000

Make an escape plan

Plan and practice

Think ahead, make an escape plan so that you and everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire. Take everyone into account when making your plan – it is important to think about any children, or older or disabled people who may need extra help to get out.
•Your best escape route is your normal way in and out of your home, but decide on a different route too, in case it is blocked.
•Make sure you know where keys to any doors or windows are.

•Keep all routes clear of anything that may hinder your escape, like furniture, rubbish, clothing or prams and bicycles.
•Get everyone involved in making your escape plan – if you have children or young people in the house, get them involved by turning it into a game – who can get out of the house the safest and quickest? The more they know about the plan the better they will understand what to do if there is a fire.
•Visitors also need to know about your escape plan – what’s the quickest and safest route to exit?
•Make sure you fit smoke alarms on each floor of your property, and test them once a week.