Fire safety has been at the forefront of many people’s minds following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy. As a housing association we have always worked closely with industry experts and the local fire service to make sure that we are compliant with all necessary fire regulations. We are pleased to confirm that we have just completed individual Fire Risk assessments on all the common areas in our stock covering 395 locations; a further example of our commitment to our customer’s safety. We have a robust process and obligation to act on any recommendations that come out of risk assessments.
Fire safety tips from the Fire Service to make your homes fire safe;
- On a weekly basis check that all smoke detectors in your home are working and report any faults to Housing Solutions for us to rectify.
- As a tenant, you are responsible for ensuring that you don’t create a fire hazard in your home. Keep all hall ways, balconies and escape routes completely clear from items which could cause an obstruction during evacuation in an emergency OR could be flammable and cause the fire to spread.
- If you live in areas that have communal areas do not wedge doors open that are in or open on to that area. Fire doors are designed to provide a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistance. In order to work effectively the door must sit firmly against the door frame.
- In the event of a fire and you having to leave a property, where possible close the door behind you of the room/flat on fire to prevent the spread of fire or smoke.
- We strong recommend that you have a personal evacuation plan in place, so you are familiar with your exit route. If you or any other resident aren’t totally clear how to evacuate your property safely please do not hesitate to contact us or visit the website of your local fire and rescue service for advice and guidance on making an escape plan with your family.
- Do not smoke in any internal communal areas. Every 6 days someone dies from a fire caused by a cigarette.
- Check your electrical appliances to make sure there’s no evidence of faults, loose or exposed wires. Don't overload electrical sockets and extension leads
- Avoid running appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers or dryers at night or when no-one’s about. Clean lint from tumble dryers.
- Don’t burn candles in your home and keep soft furnishings away from anything that generates heat, including light bulbs.
- Take care in the kitchen – don't leave cooking unattended and keep electrical appliances and leads away from water. Avoid the use of chip pans and hot oils. Never put water on a chip pan fire.
- In the event of a fire do not use the lift, use the stairs if safe to do so. If you believe you can not evacuate a building without using the lift, please contact your Housing Officer.
Our fire safety page outlines our safety program which in part includes the following;
- Every year we engage an external fire safety specialist to carry out a full Fire Risk Assessments of sheltered and supported schemes as well as all blocks of flats.
- Every six months in line with British Standards, we check fire doors; test the fire detection systems and means of escape lighting.
- We have clear fire action signage in all our communal properties
- Our staff carry out regular estate inspections, ensuring all passages and corridors are kept clear. We are currently implementing a zero tolerance policy where we will have the ability to remove items within one working day, this may seem inconvenient but its an important measure to keep our customers safe.
- We swiftly investigate any fire or fire safety incident and review or amend procedures. We also conduct follow up training (if required) and analysis to decrease/eliminate a re-occurrence
We are continuing to work closely with industry experts to ensure we comply with all necessary fire regulations and that there is a systematic approach to safety in place. Throughout 2019 we will be offering training sessions hosted by the Fire Service to all our residents so please look out for details on our website and social media.
Of course everyone wants to feel safe in their homes so if you have any concerns about fire safety or want to check that the structure of your home complies with fire regulations, we are always happy to answer any queries. You can contact our Health and Safety Team via our Fire Safety page here