Fire safety

Stay safe - fire safety in your home

  • You should have at least one smoke detector installed. If not contact us and we will fit one free of charge
  • Test your smoke alarm once a week
  • Keep door and window keys accessible where everyone in your household can find them
  • Keep your doorways and hallways free from clutter
  • Close all doors at night, especially the doors to the lounge and kitchen, to prevent fire spreading
  • Your front door is a fire door - it keeps you and your neighbours safe. Never prop it open or remove the metal arm or chain which closes it
  • Make an escape plan so that you and your family know what to do if there is a fire in your flat
  • Never leave cooking unattended and don't start cooking if you are very tired or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Maintain electrical goods and ensure you turn off appliances not intended to remain on for long periods, such as irons or hair straighteners
  • Don't overload plug sockets or extension leads
  • If you smoke, make sure you put cigarettes out properly and don't smoke in bed or while drowsy
  • Take care with candles. Never leave one unattended and use a proper heat resistant holder on a stable surface away from draughts and flammable materials such as curtains
  • Register your appliances with Register My Appliance and you'll be notified about product recalls or safety notices.

Safety in the kitchen

Most house fires start in the kitchen. Some information is below to help keep you and your family safe.

Cookers and microwaves

  • Keep electrical leads, tea towels and cloths away from your cooker
  • Keep your oven, hob and grill clean. A build up of fat and grease can easily catch fire
  • Never put anything metallic inside the microwave, such as cutlery or tin cans
  • Don't put a sponge or dishcloth in the microwave to sterilise it - it could catch fire
  • Take care if you are wearing loose clothing while cooking with gas as it can easily catch fire.
  • If clothes do catch fire, don’t run. Remember ‘stop, drop and roll’.
  • Never cook if you’ve taken medication, drugs or alcohol that make you tired or drowsy.


  • Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water
  • Check your toaster is clean and free of crumbs. Keep it away from curtains and kitchen roll.
  • Turn off electrical appliances when they are not being used and service them regularly
  • Don't overload sockets - only use one plug in each socket
  • If you have to use more than one plug per socket, use a fused adaptor and keep the total output to no more than 13 amps

Frying food/chip pans

  • Remember any type of pan can catch fire - this includes a wok, a grill or a frying pan
  • When deep frying, always dry the food before you put it in the oil
  • Never fill a pan more than one-third full of oil. If the oil starts to smoke, it's too hot - turn off the heat and leave it to cool down
  • Swap your chip pan for an electric deep fat fryer - thermostatically controlled electrical deep fat fryers that plug into the wall are much safer to use

 If your pan catches fire:

  • Don't panic and don't take risks
  • Don't move the pan
  • Never throw water or use a water fire extinguisher on a hot fat fire
  • If it's safe to do so - turn off the heat, but never lean over the pan to reach the controls
  • Leave the kitchen, close the door behind you, tell everyone else in the home to get out and don't go back inside for any reason
  • Call 999

Communal block fire safety

Living in a communal block doesn't mean you are any more at risk from fire. But it does mean that you need to consider your own fire safety and how a fire in your home could impact on other residents in your block.

It is important for your own safety to understand what to do in the event of a fire, whether it's in your flat or somewhere else in the building.

If there is a fire or smoke in your flat:

  • Where safe to do so close the door of the room where the fire is
  • Alert any other people in the flat
  • Get out, closing all doors behind you
  • Stay out
  • Call the fire service by dialling 999. Never assume someone else has called
  • Always use the stairs to get out of the building
  • Don't go back into the building until the fire service says it is safe to do so

If there is a fire in another part of the building:

It will normally be safest for you to stay in your flat.

But, if you do feel unsafe or your flat is affected by heat or smoke, then get out and call the fire service by dialling 999. If a member of the fire service tells you to leave the building, you should do so immediately.

If you are cut off by fire:

  • If your escape route is blocked by fire or smoke, stay inside the safest room with a window that opens and ring 999
  • Keep the door closed and use towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to block the smoke
  • if you are trapped, go to the balcony or window so that you can be seen - but don't jump
  • Wait to be rescued by a firefighter

Fire safety in your block

  • Keep all landings, corridors and doorways clear of obstructions, including rubbish
  • Never wedge communal doors open
  • Don't keep things in your home or communal areas that burn easily. This includes bottled gas, paraffin heaters or liquid fuel
  • Never block emergency access to your building. Park considerately so emergency vehicles can get as close as possible
  • Get to know your neighbours. They may be young, elderly or vulnerable, and need help during an emergency