What we mean by fire safety
Fire safety begins with precautions to minimise the risk of a fire, including limiting flammable material in and around your home and control of naked flames and other sources of ignition.
In the unlikely event that a fire happens your family’s safety depends on your being ready, it is important that you and your family know what to do and can escape safely.
The biggest fire risk to you and your family is from a fire inside your home. Here are precautions you can take to minimise the risks.
Check your Smoke Detectors
Working smoke alarms, also known as smoke detectors, are essential as they provide vital early warning and allow extra time to escape if there is a fire in your home. They can also alert neighbours to the danger of a fire.
Most of our homes have a mains-powered smoke detector installed. If the detector in your home is battery-powered it is your responsibility to replace the battery.
Test your smoke alarm every week to check that it is working and report any problems to our repairs team. More information can be found on the London Fire Brigade website.
Strobe light and vibrating-pad smoke alarms are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk for more information.
Smoking is the most common cause of fire death in the home
Fires caused by cigarettes and smoking result in more deaths than any other type of fire. 3 fires a day in London are linked to smoking.
- Never smoke in bed
- Don’t smoke in a soft chair or sofa if you think you may fall asleep and take extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you’ve been drinking alcohol
- Use a proper ashtray that can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn
- Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar, or pipe lying around
Take care with candles and naked flames:
Candles, incense and oil burners are one of the biggest causes of fire within homes. Always keep an eye on these items to keep you and your home safe.
- Always use a heat resistant holder on a stable surface, which won’t be knocked over
- Tea lights can melt through plastic surfaces like a TV or bath
- Keep these items away from materials that may catch fire such as curtains, furniture, clothes and hair
- Make sure you put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room and especially before bed
- Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Visit the London Fire Brigade for more advice.
Around 60 per cent of accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen. Taking a few simple measures can make all the difference.
- Avoid leaving cooking unattended
- Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
- Be careful to keep the oven, hob, cooker hood and grill clean to avoid a buildup of fat and grease, which could ignite and cause a fire
- Use spark devices to light gas cookers - they are much safer than matches or lighters
- Double check the cooker and hob are turned off when you’ve finished cooking
For more information, see our ‘safety in the kitchen’ section below.
Use of BBQs
All residents need to be aware that BBQs are not allowed on any balconies in our developments. For the safety of everyone, the use or storage of any flammable items on balconies or on the ground floor next to external walls, including BBQs, is not allowed. This applies whether the balcony is made of wood or any other material.
There are some fridge-freezers, tumble dryers and other appliances which have been recalled by the manufacturers because of fire risk. Use this link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/household-appliances-recalled-due-to-fire-risk to check that the appliances in your home are not a risk.
Fire safety at night
Be extra careful to prevent fire when you and your family are sleeping.
- Make sure that cookers are turned off
- Switch off electrical appliances such as portable heaters, irons and other portable appliances
- Close all doors inside your home at night to prevent fire from spreading
As your landlord, our top priority is your safety. We make sure that we:
- follow fire regulations
- assess the fire risks in every block
- maintain fire alarms and other safety equipment
- follow the recommendations of safety experts such as the London Fire Brigade.
You also have to take responsibility for safety in your home and in the shared areas of your building. In particular, your tenancy agreement says that you must keep shared areas clear, tidy and free from obstruction.
Emergency escape routes
Read the fire safety notice in your building and plan your emergency exit route. Make sure the exit route is kept clear at all times – never leave your belongings or rubbish in corridors, the lift lobby or on stairs, as it could prevent you and your neighbours from escaping quickly in the event of a fire.
Keep fire doors closed at all times
Never prop fire doors open, as this stops them from doing their job of preventing the spread of fire and smoke. You can also help to prevent fire from spreading by keeping other doors in your home closed at night and not altering or removing doors in your property.
Being ready in case of fire
Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if there is a fire.
Simple precautions can keep you and your family safe:
- Make sure you can quickly unlock your front door
- Keep a phone where you can find it in an emergency so you can call 999
- Decide where you and your family will meet up if you have to leave your home in an emergency