Fire safety advice
Important information about protecting your home from fire and what to do in the event of an emergency.
What should I do if there’s a fire in my home?
Alert everyone in your home that there is an emergency. Leave quickly, closing your doors behind you. Follow your evacuation plan.
If there is smoke, crawl along the floor where the air will be clearer. Never use the lift in the event of the fire.
Once you’re safely outside, phone 999 for the fire brigade.
Fire doors are in place to help keep you safe.
The door to your flat, including the door closer, is designed to resist the spread of fire for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Fire doors are a legal requirement for flats that open onto communal areas shared with other households. In blocks of flats, most fires occur within the flats themselves. When the front door to a flat is closed it prevents the spread of fire and smoke into the communal areas. This allows the fire to be contained temporarily and provides a crucial escape route.
Self-closing devices on doors help ensure that doors close on their own. This means you don't have to close them behind you. You and any guests should not interfere with self-closing devices.
Please report any doors that are broken as soon as you notice them.
Communal fire doors
Communal fire doors include:
- doors between corridors and stairways
- doors that sub-divide corridors
- doors to plant rooms, cupboards, and service risers
Fire doors in communal areas help prevent smoke from spreading to other areas. Wedging them open is illegal, and if this is done they won't stop fire and smoke from spreading.
Please make sure you keep communal doors shut when not in use.
If you notice any fire doors that need to be repaired or replaced, please contact us.
Electrical appliance safety
Many people use electrical appliances (like washing machines and tumble dryers) at night, because of cheaper energy tariffs. This shouldn’t be a safety risk however, emergency services tell us that fires at night are more likely to cause serious injury.
Because of this it's important to make regular safety checks on all of your appliances, and take a look at the National Product Recall Register.
Know your building’s evacuation plan
If you live in a residential block, you should know your building’s evacuation plan. This is what you do if a fire happens in your building. Everyone who lives in your home should know the evacuation plan and your quickest, safest route out of the building.
There are two types of evacuation plan: 'stay put' or 'simultaneous evacuation'. A sign by the front entrance of your block will explain which type of plan is used in your building. This information is also shared when you move in.
1. The 'stay put' plan
The 'stay put' plan means that if there is a fire elsewhere in your building, you’re usually safer staying in your flat with the doors and windows closed.
Important: if your flat is affected by fire or smoke, leave immediately, closing the door behind you. Once you’re safely outside, phone 999 for the fire brigade.
2. The 'simultaneous evacuation' plan
The 'simultaneous evacuation' plan means if you hear a fire alarm in your flat and throughout the building – or you know there is a fire in the building – you should follow your evacuation plan and leave by the quickest and safest route. Don’t re-enter until you’re told it’s safe.
Most of our blocks have 'stay-put' plans, which means they don’t have communal fire alarms. This follows fire brigade recommendations. In a building with a stay-put plan, a communal alarm system can be confusing and cause residents to mass evacuate. This can be dangerous and stop firefighters from reaching the fire.
Fire safety tips
Don’t take the batteries out of your detector: If it goes off accidentally you may need to open the window to ventilate, however you can silence it by pressing the test button for 3-5 seconds.
Check your smoke detector weekly by pressing the test button for 3-5 seconds (if you cannot reach you can use a wooden spoon or broom handle). If your detector does not sound it may just be a battery that needs to be changed.
If your detector is still not working or if your detectors are missing (you should have one on every floor of your home) please contact us we will aim to get you an appointment within 24 hours.
Make sure door-closers work properly, fully shutting the door without assistance. If there’s a problem with a door-closer, or a door doesn’t fit the frame properly and leaves a gap, please contact us.
Carbon monoxide detectors
You should have a carbon monoxide detector in each room of your home that has a combustible appliance, such as a gas boiler or coal fire. This does not include cookers if it’s the only combustible appliance in the room. We suggest testing your detectors on a monthly basis. If yours is not working please contact us and we will aim to get you an appointment within 24 hours or please contact your local gas contractor.
Other important fire safety tips
Do’s and Don’ts
To help, your family, and neighbours remain safe, we’ve created a handy guide of responsibilities that explain what to do and what to avoid.
If you have any questions, or would like help to better understand the responsibilities, please get in touch with us on 0300 500 8000 or use the button below.
- test your smoke detectors weekly and vacuum for dust build-up every 3 months
- replace your detector batteries if a battery is low
- report any malfunction of faults with your detectors immediately
- report any damage to your flat entrance door immediately
- keep communal areas and balconies clean and clear, with no storage, rubbish, or personal items permitted on them (door mats are okay).
- ever tamper with or alter your flat entrance door
- ever tamper with or remove the self-closer attached to your flat entrance door
- ever tamper with or alter any communal fire doors
- use the communal utility cupboard for storage
- use privacy screening on balconies, unless they come with fire-rated evidence that you’ve shared with us, and that we’ve approved
- store flammable or combustible items on your balcony
- install any security gates or grilles as these are prohibited.