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Fire safety in your flat

  If a fire starts in your flat

  • Warn others in your flat and help them to evacuate
  • Close doors behind you to restrict the spread of fire and smoke
  • Gather your family a safe distance away from the block and dial 999
  • DO NOT RE-ENTER your flat until you are told it is safe to do so by the Fire and Rescue Service.

If a fire starts in another part of the building

Follow the advice on the specific fire evacuation notice(s) displayed within the communal areas. These are often found near to the exit doors and/or on noticeboards. You must make sure that you read the notice(s) and familiarise yourself and your household with it. You and your other household members must also know all fire exit routes from the building. 

  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIGHT THE FIRE.

  DO NOT RE-ENTER the building until you are told it is safe to do so by the Fire and Rescue Service.


What should I be doing to make sure my family is safe?

  • Test all your smoke alarms once a month and report any faults. 
  • Discuss the evacuation plan with your family so everyone is clear what to do. 
  • Keep your escape routes clear – keep keys near the front door. 
  • Have a simple bedtime routine: close all internal doors and unplug electrical items not in use. If you smoke, ensure cigarettes are properly put out and do not leave e-cigarettes or vape batteries on charge. 
  • Take care with candles and tea lights. NEVER place them on televisions, plastic surfaces or near to soft furnishings/curtains. 
  • Keep your grill and oven clean from grease as this can easily catch fire. 
  • Take care when cooking and NEVER leave cooking unattended. 
  • Do not leave your washing machine, dishwasher or tumble dryer on whilst on a cycle and go out. There are an increasing number of fires being caused by these appliances. 
  • Use the correct charger for your mobile phone and do not charge it overnight. Overheating batteries can catch fire. 
  • Do not over load electrical sockets Remember: 1 socket = 1 plug. 
  • NEVER store or leave pushchairs, bicycles, mobility scooters, refuse or children’s toys in corridors or on landings – these are fire escape routes. 

Fire door checks

Suspect your home has a flat fire door? Don’t walk by, please report it to us straight away. 

Fire doors are a critical element in preventing the spread of fire and smoke, and it should be everybody’s responsibility in a shared building to make sure that they are fit for purpose.

Please note, you should not alter the fire door and frame in anyway, for example, attach a doorbell or screw numbers into the door.

*Information supplied by fire door safety week.

Gaps

What to check

Check the gaps around the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when the door’s closed. The gap under the door can be slightly larger (up to 8mm), but it does depend on the door. Ideally, you should not see light under the door.

Why

Make sure gaps are not so big that smoke and fire could travel through the cracks.

How

Use a £1 coin to give a feel for scale, this is about 3mm thick.

Concerns

Report it.

Seals

What to check

Look for any intumescent seals around the door or frame. Check they’re intact with no sign of damage.

Why

Be sure the seals will expand if they’re in contact with heat, and will stop the fire (and in some cases smoke) moving through the cracks.

How

Take a look at the edges of the door and frame.

Concerns

Report it.

Hinges

What to check

Check all hinges are firmly fixed (three or more of them), with no missing or broken screws.

Why

Be sure the door has been properly maintained, and in the intensity of a fire will perform properly.

How

Open the door and take a look at the hinges.

Concerns

Report it.

Closing properly

What to check

Check the door closes firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame.

Why

A fire door only works when it’s closed. A fire door is completely useless if it’s wedged open or can’t close fully.

How

Open the door about halfway, let go and see what happens when you allow it to close by itself.

Concerns

Report it.


  Updated: 2 August 2021

  Review date: August 2022

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