Primary History

World War 2: Daily Life

Read the instructions from an 'Air Raid Precaution' card.

Air Raid Precautions title

Cards like this were sent to every home. They told people what to do if there was an air raid.

Air Raid Precautions card

Wounded and gas contaminated casualties who can walk should go direct to the nearest First Air Post. If you suspect that your clothing has been contaminated by liquid gas, remove the affected garment immediately and place it outside the house, then wash yourself thoroughly. Stretcher cases will be taken to hospitals.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR GAS MASK. Learn how to put it on and take it off and how to store it properly. Keep it ready for immediate use. If you have no gas mask or if your mask does not fit or seems out of repair, speak to your Warden about it at once.

All windows, doors, skylights or openings which would show a light, must be screened so that no light can be seen from outside. Do not use a light in a room unless the blind or curtain is drawn, and remember that a light at the back of a house is just as visible from the air as one from the front.

WARNING SIGNAL Warbling or intermittent sound on siren, Whistles blown by the police wardens. GAS WARNING Rattles sounded. RAIDERS PASSED Continuous sound on siren. ALL CLEAR. Handbells rung
When you hear the WARNING Signal TAKE COVER AT ONCE and stay there until you hear the continuous sound on the siren or the ringing of a handbell. Have your Gas Mask with you. If RATTLES have been used warning you of gas, do not come out until your hear HANDBELLS.

Be ready to deal with an incendiary bomb. Clear all lumber from your attic NOW, and see that you have easy access to the attic or roof space. Provide two buckets filled with water and, if possible, a stirrup hand pump with two-purpose nozzle, either producing spray for dealing with the bomb itself, or producing a jet for tackling the resulting fire. Have a reserve supply of water in buckets or tubs. Leave used water in the bath. If you have no stirrup hand pump, have two buckets of sand or dry earth near the top of the house, and a shovel with a long handle for putting sand on the bomb. After covering the bomb with sand place it in a bucket which has a few inches of sand in the bottom, and remove it from the house. Scrape up every particle of burning metal. The resulting fire will then have to be extinguished. Buckets of water or a folded blanket kept wet from a bucket of water might be used. On no account throw water on the bomb or an explosion may result.
If you cannot put out the fire send for help

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]