Skip to main content

Fire in a building


Warning signs

  • You hear the signal of the fire detection and fire alarm system.
  • You see a flame or glowing and burning.
  • You see smoke and/or smell smoke.
  • You feel a sudden increase in temperature.

How to be prepared for a fire

Following fire safety procedures and protecting your home against fire is the best way to help prevent fires.


  • Equip all rooms with a smoke detector and, if necessary, with a fume detector.
  • Get a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket, learn how to use them.
  • Discuss with your family members what you will do in case of fire and how you will evacuate.


  • Make sure you know the locations of escape routes and fire exits.
  • If there is an evacuation plan, examine it.

How to act in the event of fire


  • Quickly leave the building that is on fire and stay outside.
  • Use the marked escape routes for exiting.
  • Do not use lifts; in the event of fire, these will cease to operate.
  • Life and health are always more important than extinguishing the fire. Do not place yourself at risk by attempting to extinguish the fire and save the property.
  • Keep away from areas that could collapse.
  • Move closer to the floor in a room full of smoke.
  • Protect your respiratory tract against smoke and heat, for which a wet cloth is well suited.
  • Open the door of a room full of smoke carefully. The inflow of fresh air could lead to an explosive increase in the flames.
  • If you see an alarm button on the escape routes, trigger the alarm to inform other people.
  • Once you have left the building, report yourself to the helpers; this way the rescuers will not start looking for you in vain.


  • Protect yourself against fire and smoke – stay in the room where fire and smoke have not spread.
  • Close the door, but do not lock it. If possible, block the openings below and around the door with clothing.
  • Do not hide, but signal your location. If possible go to the window or balcony and show yourself. Only in this way will the rescuers see or hear where you are.

Report the fire as soon as possible via the emergency number 112!


  • When saving others, the priority is your own safety.
  • When evacuating from the building, help people who need help – injured, disabled, elderly, children, etc.
  • When entering a room where there may be people, call them. Be ready to search for children who have hidden due to fear.
  • If you have found a victim who cannot move by himself, help him – hold him, drag or carry out.
  • If necessary, begin providing first aid. (See Chapter “First Aid”).
  • You should not, in any case, run around with burning clothes, as this will add fuel to the fire. Lie down and cover your head. Flames can be put out with water, a blanket, a carpet or any other cloth. If these are not available, roll yourself or the injured person on the ground.
  • If the fire has spread to the staircase of an apartment building or a high-rise, it is safer to stay in the apartment.
  • Jumping from a high floor or escaping with the help of drainpipes and sheets may be life-threatening.
  • The primary task of rescuers is to immediately help people in trouble. The sequence of rescuing depends on the imminent danger.
  • Wandering about in the area on fire is prohibited; this is dangerous and interferes with rescue works.

What to do in a crisis

Every state does whatever it can to prevent or respond to crisis situations. Still, help will not always reach all people quickly enough because some crises can affect a large part of the population and last for days or even weeks.

Until help arrives and services are resumed, your welfare and that of your loved ones will largely depend on your own preparedness.

The web page “” contains tips on how to get prepared for various types of crisis situations and what to do if there actually is one.

EU logo Eesti lipp
Siseministeerium ja Riigikantselei
This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. More information | I understood