Fire safety in council managed homes

Frequently asked questions

What is the policy in the event of a fire?

If there is a fire within your home:
  • Leave immediately closing the door behind you
  • Dial 999 for the fire brigade
  • Shout fire to alert other people
If there is a fire outside your home:
  • Dial 999
  • It is usually safer to stay in your home until you can be safely evacuated by fire fighters
  • If smoke or flames enter your home leave at once and close the door behind you
  • Always use the stairs
The Homesafe booklet provides further advice about safety in the home.

Do you fit smoke alarms?

All properties are let with smoke alarms. Residents can be provided with replacement smoke alarms free of charge. The smoke alarms have a 10 year battery life and we would recommend that residents test these on a monthly basis.

What is the position regarding fire alarms and fire drills?

In line with normal practice for purpose built residential blocks, we operate a ‘stay put’ strategy and therefore we do not fit fire alarms in communal parts and fire drills are not required.  

Are sprinklers going to be fitted?

Sprinklers are not currently fitted in our residential blocks, however we have agreed to begin a prioritised programme of retro fitting sprinklers to individual properties in tower blocks.  

What is the position regarding fire extinguishers?

Fire extinguishers are not provided in the communal areas of the building. We cannot, and would not, expect residents to fight fires.

We do not provide equipment in people’s properties however advice on fire safety in the home is provided in the Homesafe booklet that all tenants receive. The London Fire Brigade will also carry out free home fire safety visits.

What is the policy on smoking?

Smoking is prohibited in the common parts of the building. There is a ‘No Smoking’ sign displayed in the ground floor lift lobby of all our blocks. If you smoke inside your property ensure you put cigarettes out properly.

Is emergency lighting fitted?

The lighting to communal areas of the block runs on a separate circuit and it is highly unlikely that a fire in a flat will mean the communal lighting stops working. We have a programme of fitting emergency lighting and this will be reviewed in light of recent events.

What fire notices are displayed? 

Fire Action Notices are displayed in the ground floor lobby of every block across the Borough and should be read. Regular inspections are carried out by Estate Services Officers but if you see any damage to these signs this should be reported to the estate services section for action. 

Additional signs are to be provided on every floor warning residents not to use the lifts in the event of a fire.

What fire safety checks are carried out in my block?

A range of fire safety inspections of your block are carried out on a weekly, quarterly and annual basis, by trained estate services officers. This includes:
  • Checks to ensure that no combustible materials such as rubbish are  stored in corridors and communal areas.
  • Checks to ensure nothing is obstructing means of escape and communal areas such as bikes, prams etc.
  • Inspection of the block and all fire doors to ensure they are in good repair and functioning correctly.
  • Inspection of fire equipment e.g. dry risers. 

What are Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs)?

The Council is legally required to carry out FRAs which cover the communal areas of the block (not individual properties). Flat entrance doors form part of the protection to the common escape route so these are included in the assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to evaluate the risk to people from fire, taking into account existing fire safety measures, and to determine whether additional measures are necessary.  

Areas to look at include: 

  • Measures to reduce the risk of fire and the risk of the spread of fire.
  • Means of escape from fire.
  • Measures to ensure that escape routes can be safely and effectively used.
  • An emergency plan, including procedures for residents in the event of a fire.
  • Measures to mitigate the effects of fire. 

FRAs were completed for all our blocks in 2016 by an independent expert and are reviewed annually.  

Contacts

Estate Services 

Telephone: 020 8871 7446 or 7445

London Fire Brigade

Telephone: 0800 028 4428

Email: smokealarms@london-fire.gov.uk

Text: +44786 002 1319