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Fire safety

Most accidents happen in the home. By taking a few sensible precautions, you can reduce the risk of fire in your home.

How to reduce the risk of fire in your home

In your block

Keep escape routes clear - don't leave large items such as furniture, prams or bikes in communal areas, shared balconies or corridors.

Don't wedge self-closing doors open. These doors are normally fire-resistant. They help to stop fire and smoke spreading, but only when they are closed.

In your home

  • Do not leave candles unattended - make sure they are in an appropriate candle holder and don't place them near curtains.
  • Before emptying ashtrays make sure the contents are cold.
  • Always keep open fires, electric, gas or portable heaters guarded.
  • Don't smoke in a chair if you think you might fall asleep and never smoke in bed.
  • Keep doors closed in your flat when you go to bed - if a fire does start, this will help it stop spreading.
  • Unplug any electrical appliances you're not using - especially at night.
  • Don't leave cooking unattended - especially when your cooking with hot oil or fat.
  • Avoid the use of paraffin heaters - if you have one make sure it meets the British Safety Regulation BS3300 and that it has a British Standard Institute kitemark.

Hazardous materials

Don't store gas, petrol or bottled gas or any flammable materials at home, in the block or garage. They can easily catch fire and can be very dangerous.

Smoke alarms

Having smoke alarms fitted in your home can help save your home and the lives of you and your family. Smoke alarms can detect a fire via a smoke detector and alert you early giving you time to enable you and your family to leave the house in safety. You can buy them in most hardware shops or major supermarkets. Make sure you fit them in the hallway and outside the kitchen and bedrooms. Make sure you test them every month to ensure they don't run out of battery.

Fire brigade home fire safety visits

The Fire Brigade offers free home fire safety visits giving residents personal fire safety advice and fitting a free smoke alarm if needed. Contact them for a free visit:
Request a home fire safety visit online (external link)

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What to do if there is a fire

If there is a fire in your flat:

  • Alert others in your flat to get out if possible.
  • Get out of the building.
  • Close doors behind you.
  • Don't use lifts. Use stairs.
  • Call 999 and ask for the fire brigade.

If you're trapped in your flat:

  • Block gaps around doors with wet towels.
  • Stay in one room near a window and with a phone.
  • Call 999 and ask for the fire brigade.
  • Give your address and flat number and follow instructions.

If there's a fire elsewhere in the building:

  • Stay in your flat. This is usually safer unless heat or smoke is affecting you. Flats and maisonettes are built to protect you from fire to some extent. Walls, floors and doors can hold back flames and smoke for a while.
  • Stay near a window and listen to instructions from the emergency services.

If there's a lot of smoke:

  • Keep close to the floor where the air will be clearer

Remember the following:

  • Closing doors slows down the spread of the fire and reduces the main danger - smoke.
  • Keep escape routes clear - don't keep large items such as furniture on shared balconies and landings.
  • Don't wedge self-closing doors open. These doors are normally fire-resistant. They help to stop fire and smoke spreading, but only when they are closed. If any of the self-closing doors are not working properly, please report it to us on 020 8489 5611.
  • Before you go to bed or go out, close as many doors in your flat as you can. If a fire does start, this will help to stop it spreading.
  • You should unplug all electrical appliances when you are not using them, especially overnight.

For more information about fire safety at home visit the London Fire Brigade's website at: www.london-fire.gov.uk (external link).

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Ask a question

If you have concerns, queries or would like to report a fire safety issue use our online form: Questions about fire safety in Haringey tower blocks >

Learn more about fire risk assessments >


Further information

Please download and read the following leaflets carefully to make sure you are best prepared to keep your home safe:

Fire Safety - Fact sheet

This document is available in the following community languages:

Fire safety - Fact sheet - Albanian (pdf)

Fire safety - Factsheet - Arabic (pdf)

Fire safety - Factsheet - Greek (pdf)

Fire safety - Factsheet - Kurdish (pdf)

Fire safety - Factsheet - Turkish (pdf)

Fire safety - Factsheet - Somali (pdf)

 

Fire safety - Sheltered schemes

This document is available in the following community languages:

Fire safety - Sheltered schemes - Albanian (pdf)

Fire safety - Sheltered schemes - Arabic (pdf)

Fire safety - Sheltered schemes - Greek (pdf)

Fire safety - Sheltered schemes - Kurdish (pdf)

Fire safety - Sheltered schemes - Turkish (pdf)

Fire safety - Sheltered schemes - Somali (pdf)

 

Fire safety - Unusual means of escape

This document is available in the following community languages

Fire safety - Unusual means of escape - Albanian (pdf)

Fire safety - Unusual means of escape - Arabic (pdf)

Fire safety - Unusual means of escape - Greek (pdf)

Fire safety - Unusual means of escape - Kurdish (pdf)

Fire safety - Unusual means of escape - Turkish (pdf)

Fire safety - Unusual means of escape - Somali (pdf)

 

London Fire Brigade - for fire safety information, advice and updates on the latest fire incidents in London

Fire Kills - for advice on how to prevent fires and protect yourself

Gov.uk - for fire safety information from the government

Download our fire safety information sheet (pdf) and fire safety leaflet (pdf) for more details. The leaflet is available in the following community languages:

Fire safety - Albanian (pdf)
Fire safety - Amharic (pdf)
Fire safety - Arabic (pdf)
Fire safety - Bengali (pdf)
Fire safety - Chinese (pdf)
Fire safety - Farsi (pdf)
Fire safety - French (pdf)
Fire safety - Gujarati (pdf)
Fire safety - Greek (pdf)
Fire safety - Italian (pdf)
Fire safety - Kurdish (pdf)
Fire safety - Lingala (pdf)
Fire safety - Polish (pdf)
Fire safety - Portuguese (pdf)
Fire safety - Russian (pdf)
Fire safety - Somali (pdf)
Fire safety - Spanish (pdf)
Fire safety - Tigrinya (pdf)
Fire safety - Turkish (pdf)
Fire safety - Urdu (pdf)
Fire safety - Vietnamese (pdf)

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Page Last Updated:

2 October 2018