Fire safety tips for council tenants

Fire safety is everyone's responsibility, follow our tips to help stay safe.

To avoid fires always check and test fire alarms regularly and avoid:

  • smoking in communal areas
  • overloading plugs or sockets
  • covering cookers or heaters
  • using any faulty electrical items
  • leaving hot appliances unattended when switched on
  • placing anything that will burn next to a heat source
  • leaving candles unattended
  • storing materials, wedge doors open or block doorways in communal areas
  • obstructing gas and electricity meter cupboards

For more information read our management of fire risks in communal areas policy or our fire safety information guide.

Do not leave items in communal area

Fire safety in blocks of flats is extremely important.

A key part of fire safety is keeping the communal areas safe and clear. You must not leave items in communal areas.

This includes:

  • buggies or prams
  • bikes
  • children’s toys
  • furniture or items waiting for rubbish collection

Communal areas include:

  • entrance halls and landings
  • stairs and stairwells
  • balconies and walkways
  • meter cupboards

Landlord's legal duty

As landlords, we have a legal duty to ensure the safety of communal areas. This means that if there was a fire, there must be nothing in these areas that could:

  • prevent or slow down residents from escaping the building
  • prevent the fire services from carrying out their duties
  • give off toxic smoke or gas when burning
  • explode due to high temperatures (such as glass)
  • cause the fire to spread

Items left in communal areas will be removed

We inspect the communal areas where you live regularly. Any items found will be removed, and a fee will be charged for them to be returned. 

We will usually give a warning before we remove an item but it will be removed immediately if it is considered high risk.

Where you can put your items

You should store your belongings should be stored within your flat.

In some areas, we may be able to consider providing external storage using the Estate Improvement Fund. 

If you have any ideas about this, contact the Housing Services Team.

If there's a fire

If there is a fire in your home:

  • call the fire service on 999
  • get all occupants to leave the property
  • close all doors including the front door
  • leave the building as quickly as possible
  • use the safest route possible

If there is a fire but it is not in your home:

  • it should be safe to stay in your home
  • stay alert
  • leave your home and close all doors if the heat or smoke begins to affect your home