Fire safety advice
26th June 2017 | posted in News
After the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London, we understand that residents may be concerned about fire safety. There has been a lot of speculation about the rapid spread of the fire and many residents, especially those who live in flats, may be worried.
We do not have any high rise buildings or tower blocks but we would like to offer some reassurances about the fire safety of our homes. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of residents and we take all reasonable steps to prevent and control the risk from fire.
All of our homes meet building regulations and fire safety requirements.
We work with the fire brigade to make sure that the right fire detection systems and safety procedures are in place.
All fire safety measures are designed, installed and maintained by competent people and all equipment and works fully comply with all relevant British Standards.
We routinely carry out inspections of all homes that have a shared entrance or communal areas. Annual fire risk assessments of our sheltered schemes are carried out by an independent specialist fire safety company to the Local Government Association’s ‘Fire safety in purpose built blocks of flats’ standards and we respond to all of their recommendations. The same fire risk assessments of all other blocks of flats with communal staircases are carried out every two years.
In our sheltered schemes the fire alarms are tested and a check is made of all of the communal areas and emergency exits, every week.
Emergency lighting and fire detection equipment is tested and serviced regularly to make sure that these are in full working order.
The stay put policy in the event of a fire in our blocks of flats is best practice. Unless you are in a communal area when the fire alarm sounds or the fire is in your home, you should stay in your flat until you are told to leave by the fire brigade. Staying in your flat will protect you for at least 30 minutes by which time the fire brigade will be on site assessing the situation and will evacuate residents if necessary. If the fire is in your home you should leave as quickly as possible, shut the door behind you, activate the fire alarm if it isn’t already sounding and leave the building by the quickest and safest route. If you are in a communal area when the fire alarm sounds, leave the building by the quickest and safest route.
Please make sure that you do not leave anything in communal areas or near fire exits that could cause an obstruction or fire hazard.
We had already planned to replace the fire doors to some flats and also to fit smoke detectors in over 800 homes this year. This work will be done as quickly as possible.
If you live in a newly built home or one of our sheltered schemes you will have a hard wired smoke detector in your home. We test these annually and replace whenever necessary.
We fit a battery operated smoke alarm before we re-let all other homes. These are sealed units and the batteries should last for 10 years. You must test it regularly and replace it when the batteries run out. Do not remove the batteries for any reason
It is a good idea to check your home before you go to bed each night and -
•Close all inside doors (this will prevent a fire from spreading)
•Turn off and unplug electrical appliances that do not need to be left on
•Make sure your cooker is turned off
•Do not leave your washing machine, dishwasher or tumble drier on
•Extinguish any candles and cigarettes carefully
•Make sure all exits are clear of obstructions
•Keep your door and window keys handy
•If you have a mobile telephone take it to bed with you
•Make an escape plan so that you are prepared if there is a fire in your home - the best route is the way you would normally leave your home but think of another route just in case this is blocked by the fire.
In the event of a fire, call 999. Never assume that someone else has reported it.
Free fire safety checks are offered by your local fire brigade.
We will respond appropriately to any recommendations that may be made following the investigations and inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, to ensure the continued safety of our residents and their homes.
If you have any concerns about the fire safety of your home please contact us on Freephone 0800 0287428