Most fires in the home start by accident. By carrying out a few simple safety checks you can reduce the chances of a fire starting in your home and keep your family safe.
Don’t forget, if there is a fire in your home – get out, stay out and call 999 – don’t try to tackle the fire yourself.
Things you should do:
- Make sure you know where the fire escape routes are from your home and building.
- If you see an object blocking any of the fire escapes, please move it if it is safe to do so or report it to us.
- Close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading.
- Never store items in communal (shared) areas such as corridors and balconies.
- Make it a habit to keep the exits from your home clear, so that people can escape if there is a fire.
- Check all your smoke alarms work. You are twice as likely to die in a fire if your smoke alarm does not work. Your local fire service provides free home safety checks and in many cases this may include fitting a free smoke alarm. Fire Officers will also advise you about making your home safer. To get a free safety visit from your local fire service, contact the London Fire Brigade on 08000 28 44 28.
- Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances unless they are designed to be left on, like a freezer.
- Do not leave the washing machine on as that can potentially start a fire.
- Check your cooker is off. Gas cookers are harder to notice so double check.
- Turn heaters off and put up fireguards too if you have them.
- Put candles, naked flames and cigarettes out properly. It is much safer to smoke outside and ensure they are put out properly in an ashtray. Make sure candles or naked flames are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains.
- Remember to turn off those Christmas lights!
- Make sure that everyone in your home can easily find the keys for doors and windows – always keep them in the same place.
- Keep mirrors and other reflective materials like glass and crystal away from sunny windows as the reflection can start a blaze.
We check flat entrance doors and communal doors routinely to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
- Never leave fire doors wedged open, they need to remain closed.
- Do not tamper with self-closing devices on fire doors.
- Please report any faults or damage to fire doors immediately.
You can read more about fire door safety here.
Keeping your balcony safe:
- Never barbecue on your balcony, sparks can fall to the homes below.
- Don’t keep paints, paint thinners or fuel on your balcony.
- If smoking on your balcony, dispose of smoking materials responsibly and do not flick lit cigarettes from a balcony. Use safety ash trays to extinguish cigarettes.
How can I best keep fire safe?
You can best keep fire safe by:
- giving our staff and contractors access so that they can carry-out fire related maintenance and undertake fire risk assessments.
- looking after doors and windows on escape routes so they can be easily and quickly opened in case of a fire. This includes keeping doors closed (unless they are doors designed to be held open on magnetic devices) and not wedging them open.
- not changing your flat’s front door, as this acts as a key line of defence in preventing the spread of fire.
- not smoking in communal areas and generally taking care when smoking.
- keeping escape routes and communal areas clear by not storing belongings in communal areas and in particular keeping stairwells free of obstacles. This will ensure people can get out of the building quickly.
- familiarise yourself with the escape plan for your building. If you are not sure of this, please contact us.
For more fire safety advice, visit the London Fire Brigade website at www.london-fire.gov.uk
If you discover a fire:
- raise the alarm
- leave the building immediately by the nearest available exit if it is safe to do so
- move to a safe distance away from the building
- phone the Fire Brigade by dialling 999 or 112
- remain a safe distance away from the building and await the Fire Brigade.
If the fire is in your home:
- tell everyone in your home and get them to leave the building closing your front door behind you
- move to a safe distance away from the building
- call the Fire Brigade by dialling 999 or 112 asking for FIRE
- remain a safe distance away from the building and await the Fire Brigade
- if you see or hear of a fire in another part of the building stay put in your home as this will usually be the safest option unless you are directly affected by the fire. Close all windows and be prepared to leave
- phone the Fire Brigade by dialling 999 or 112 and asking for FIRE
- you must leave the building immediately if smoke or fire directly affects your home or you are directed to do so by the Fire Brigade. Close your front door behind you
- move to a safe distance away from the building, remain there and await the Fire Brigade.
- Do not take risks.
- Do no stop to collect personal belongings.
- Do not return to the building for any reason unless authorised to do so.
- Do not use any lift.