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Fire safety

Customers living in residential blocks

Fire safety is important; fires can cause a lot of damage and at worst, cost lives. Although fires are not common, it's important we work together to prevent them and you know what to do if a fire does start.

Our fire safety leaflet provides lots of useful information on fire prevention and what to do if a fire starts in your home.

Emergency information for customers in residential blocks

Please ensure that you are familiar with the emergency evacuation procedure for your building. Information about this should be available in communal areas. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact us

If your flat is being affected by fire or smoke and your escape route is clear

  • Get everyone out, close all windows and doors and walk calmly out of the building.
  • Do not use the lift.
  • Call 999, give your address, the number of your flat and state which floor the fire is on.

If there is a fire or smoke inside your flat but your escape route is NOT clear

  • It may still be safer to stay in your flat until the fire brigade arrives.
  • Find a safe room, close the door and use soft materials to block any gaps to stop the smoke.
  • Go to a window, shout “HELP, FIRE” and call 999.
  • Be ready to describe where you are and the quickest way to reach you.

If there is a fire in another part of the building

Purpose-built blocks of flats are built to give you some protection from fire. Walls, floors and doors can hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes.

  • You are usually safer staying put and calling 999.
  • Tell the fire brigade where you are and the best way to reach you. 

If you are within the common parts of the building, leave and call 999.

If you cannot make voice calls, you can contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. You will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergency SMS first. Text ‘register’ to 999. You will get a reply – then follow the instructions you are sent.

Fire prevention and suppression in residential blocks

It is normal for residential blocks to not have fire extinguishers and fire blankets as we want you to move away, rather than towards a fire, to a place of safety.

The presence of fire extinguishers encourages people to fight a fire, rather than evacuate the building. Additionally, a person may be tempted to re-enter a flat, having collected a fire entinguisher from a communal area, which is more dangerous than directly evacuating and ensuring the flat door is fully closed behind them.

Fire blankets are generally applied to pan fires and where the user is untrained, serious injuries including burns and scalds, can occur if the fire is not properly cooled before the blanket is removed. The fire may also start again if enough heat remains and it hasn't been fully put out.

If your block only has one exit then it will not need to have a fire exit sign posted above it.

You can also help keep yourself and others safe by addressing the following:

  • Test your smoke detector every four to six weeks.

  • Keep all communal areas free from personal items and debris as it can hinder escape routes and also help fires spread. Household rubbish should always be taken to the refuse area immediately and not left in communal areas.

  • Make sure fire doors are always closed, don't prop them open as it can damage the seal. Although we check them regularly, be sure to report it to us if they are not closing into the frame properly or have been damaged.

  • It is easy to get confused if it is dark or smokey so it’s important to know your route out of the building using the exit stairs. Count the number of doors you need to go through or use familiar objects to guide you to help with your escape in the event of a fire.

  • If you have access your meter with a key via the building's riser, it is really important that the doors remain locked and shut when not in use and that you report it to us if the door is not locked or closing properly. A riser is the duct that houses various cables and pipes that are in use around the building.
  • Not allowing non-residents into your block can reduce the risk of anti-social behaviour (ASB) and fires starting, so keep all doors secure.

  • It's important that we know who is living in your property, please make sure your details are up to date by logging in to My Account. If you think someone's subletting illegally, you can report them to us.

If you have a smoke detector in your home, whether it was there when you moved in or you have installed it, it should be checked regularly and this is your responsibility.

If you live in a supported, sheltered, very sheltered or independent with living care scheme block, you may also be covered by either a fire panel* or your warden cord system. Both of these systems will be tested by our contractors on a periodic basis.  One way to check is that smoke detectors that are part of a fire panel system do not have a self-test button.

*a fire panel is an alerting system either in communal area or a flat.

Customers living in houses rented from us

Fire safety is important; fires can cause a lot of damage and at worst, cost lives. Although fires are not common, it's important we work together to prevent them and you know what to do if a fire does start.

Our fire safety leaflet provides lots of useful information on fire prevention and what to do if a fire starts in your home. Some fire brigades offer a free home checking service, so it may be worth contacting them for a home safety check or additional fire safety advice.

If you have a smoke detector in your home, whether it was there when you moved in or you have installed it, it should be checked regularly as this is your responsibility.

If any of your smoke alarms go off, never assume that it is a false alarm.

  • Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables.

  • Don’t tackle fires yourself, many people are injured this way.

  • Leave it to the professionals.

  • Keep calm and get out, closing doors behind you to slow down the spread of fire and smoke.

  • Before you open a door check if it’s warm with the back of your hand. If it is, don’t open it, there may be a fire on the other side. If there’s smoke, keep low where the air is clearer.

  • Call 999 as soon as it’s safe to do so – 999 calls are free.

  • Never go back into the building once you are safely outside.

If you cannot make voice calls, you can contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. You will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergency SMS first. Text ‘register’ to 999. You will get a reply – then follow the instructions you are sent.

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