Fire Safety in Flats
23rd May 2018
Fire safety is of outstanding importance. This is a brief outline of guidelines that must be followed by landlords or managing agents, including assessing risks and potential hazards present in the vicinity and what you can do to limit the probability of falling victim to a fire.
MAIN CAUSES OF FIRE
A fire in a block of flats usually starts within an individual flat rather than a communal area due to:
- Electrical faults due to over loaded plug sockets.
- Cigarettes; not being put out properly or being thrown out outside and falling down though some one else’s open window.
- Chip pans being left unattended.
- Fragrance candles being left unattended.
PREVENTING FIRES IN YOUR FLAT
Complete prevention is protection. Your land lord/managing agent have a duty to take steps to prevent fires from breaking out in the communal areas of the property, remember, the majority of fires start within a single flat itself rather than a communal area so here are a few effective ways of preventing a fire:
- Smoke detectors – Mains wired smoke detectors are the safest and they also give you a vital warning and a small amount of extra time to escape/evacuate the building if need be. Furthermore, you should check your smoke detector every week just to make sure it’s working!
- Check your doors – It’s important that you check the doors in your flat are in good condition and that they shut properly. You should not remove any internal doors or wedge them open, you must always make sure they are closed at night. You should also make sure that everyone knows where the keys are kept for the main door.
- If you’re planning any alterations to doors and the internal layout of your flat, you should think about the implications of fire safety first.
FRONT DOORS OF FLATS
Believe it or not, your front door is a secret weapon against fire in your block – it prevents fire and smoke from spreading to communal areas and cutting off the escape routes.
- You should never alter your front door without first seeking advice about the implications it would have on fire safety.
- Your door should have a self-closing device fitted to meet the current fire safety guidance for flats, you should never remove this.
- Even altering the letter box or adding a cat flap to your door can affect the fire safety of your building and the communal escape routes, you should always ask for advice and permission from your land lord or managing agent first.
FIRE SAFETY IN COMMUNAL AREAS
Your land lord or managing agent has a legal duty for a fire risk assessment to be carried out on the communal areas of your building, and for it to be kept under review, but here are a few things that you can do to help:
- Don’t obstruct communal areas.
- Don’t prop open doors in communal areas.
- Don’t clutter the stairs, corridors and landings with personal items or items that can be easily set on fire.
- Don’t store prams, bikes or mobility scooters in communal areas without the permission of your land lord/managing agent.
- Don’t store flammable materials in cupboards that have electrical circuits.
- Make sure that you put all rubbish in the bins provided – don’t leave it lying around as it can easily be set on fire.
A FINAL THOUGHT
Fire safety is of extreme importance to Blocsphere and we make sure that all of the leaseholders that we deal with know the dangers of specific actions and the consequences they can cause. Here at Blocsphere we make sure that everyone is safe and everyone understands all safety procedures to take in case a fire actually breaks out. Remember, complete prevention is protection!