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In our attempts to make our homes secure against intruders and burglars, we often overlook issues of life protection in the event of fire. There are many security devices, such as deadlocks and window grills, that prevent intruders from getting in or thieves removing goods. The danger, in a fire situation, is that these security devices may prevent you and your family from getting out.

People have died in fires because they had dead-locked themselves in and removed the key from the lock. You must be able to quickly escape from your home in the event of fire.


  • Install deadlocks that can be opened from the inside without keys.
  • If keys are needed, leave the key in the lock or on a hook on the centre of the door but out of reach of potential intruders.
  • Limit the number of keys needed to open doors by having locks keyed alike.
  • When installing security grills on windows, select a unit that feature keyless options on the inside.
  • Ensure that any window grill bars/screens readily open outwards from the inside.
  • Be prepared to smash a window as a means of escape. Use a solid object to break the window, and clear away jagged glass.  Place a blanket over the window frame to protect yourself against cuts.
  • If grills are key locked, the key should be readily on hand.