You probably don’t even realise this, but there are fire risks present in your home every day. Some of these well-known hazards include candles and cooking pans left unattended, covered electrical heaters, overloaded plugs, and unfinished cigarettes. Although you might think that these are so obvious that everyone would remember to take care of them, that is—unfortunately—not the case. Last year, only in the UK, 248 people lost their lives due to a fire at home. Understandably, many of these accidents could have been easily prevented.

That is why the UK’s Home Office decided to hire one of London’s leading advertising agencies, FCB Inferno, which is part of global advertising network FCB. The network dates back to 1873, and now boasts 9000 employees in over 90 countries, with 150 of those working at FCB Inferno.

The agency was then briefed to come up with a new strategic and creative campaign that highlights the fire risk at homes and “ultimately drive preventative and protective behaviours around the home.”

After helping release the world’s first ‘resellable’ magazine—The Big Issue—FCB Inferno comes with a new, eye-catching campaign simply titled “Fire Kills”! A short 30-second spot is accompanied by a series of posters, TVC cut-downs, and social assets, which were all designed to be used nationally by Fire and Rescue services locally and on the ground.

Fire Kills was designed to disrupt complacency and so the creative reflects how careless behaviour can easily lead to a devastating fire, and crucially, puts in the spotlight the testing of smoke alarms within the framework of greater fire safety awareness. Apart from the ad, there is a series of “stay-safe” steps that you can follow to lower the risks of starting a fire in your home.

Sharon Jiggins, EVP at FCB Inferno, explains the high importance of these little devices: “We’ve created a campaign that focuses on preventative behaviours. By showing how easy it is for a fire to start and building the TVC around how quickly fire can escalate beyond our control, we want to make the public aware of the everyday risks in their home and change their behaviour as a result. We believe this will also be a powerful prompt to get people to test their smoke alarms.”

The ad uncovers how small, easily and frequently made mistakes can ignite a spark for something much more devastating; whether it would be throwing a tea-towel down near the hob, keeping flammable objects near candles, or simply just overloading the extension cords. The spot was filmed to simulate one continuous take and allows the camera flow through a series of rooms, focussing on each ignition point in detail as the flames start bursting from scene to scene.

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, said: “This hard-hitting campaign shows us how it only takes one small accident to start a devastating fire in your own home. Knowing the safety risks, the little mistakes we can all make, is key to preventing fires. Fire Kills has a long history of helping protect people from fire and we are proud to re-launch it.”

The campaign—which was developed with the help of the National Fire Chiefs Council—further urges the public to test their smoke alarms. Previous Fire Kills campaigns focused on the importance of detecting fires, but the new advertising also places emphasis on prevention by highlighting fire risks around the home. Have you checked yours, yet? Because if you didn’t know, you are over 7 times more likely to die in a fire at your own home if there are no working smoke alarms…


Agency: FCB Inferno

Executive Vice President: Sharon Jiggins
Head of Planning: Chris Baker
Creative Director: Martin McAllister
Art Director: Greg Harvey
Copywriter: Mike MacKenzie
Account Director: Emily Whiteaway
Account Manager: Tom Elias
Head of Broadcast: Nikki Chapman
Broadcast Producer: Hanna Davis
Head of Digital Delivery: Mike Jenkins
Senior Digital Designer: Becci Salmon

Director: Ross Cooper

Production House: Friend
Producer: Sorcha Bacon
Sound Engineer: Dave @ Angell Sound
Editor: Scott @ The Quarry
Post Production: Frame Store

Client: Home Office UK

Head of Strategic Communications and Campaigns: Debbie Porter
Head of Marketing: Laura Jones
Senior Marketing Manager: Elijah Lyons
Marketing Manager: Laura Butterfield