Fire safety at home

Council flats and sheltered accommodation

We operate a 'Stay Put' policy in the event of fire at blocks of flats and sheltered accommodation. This means you should not evacuate unless the fire is inside your flat or you are affected by heat or smoke.

If you and your family have any questions about the 'Stay Put' policy, ask your Estate Officer or Sheltered Housing Manager as soon as possible.

Fire Action Notices are displayed in the entrances to the blocks. Please make sure you have read and understood them.

Fire in your flat

If there's a fire inside your flat:

  • follow your escape plan – get everyone out, and stay out
  • call 999 - never assume someone else has called
  • close all doors behind you as you leave
  • use the nearest stairs or fire exit – do not use the lift

Trapped in your flat

If you are trapped in your flat by fire:

  • call 999 - never assume someone else has called
  • tell the fire service your flat and floor number
  • get everyone to the safest room – furthest from smoke and heat

Fire somewhere else in the building

If there's a fire, but not in your flat:

  • close all your doors and windows
  • call 999 - never assume someone else has called
  • stay put, unless advised by the Fire Service
  • if the Fire Service needs to evacuate, they will knock door-to-door

Keep your building safe

Don't leave anything in the communal areas – it could prevent someone from escaping a fire.

This includes:

  • mobility scooters
  • rubbish
  • bikes
  • pushchairs
  • large plants
  • shoes
  • other belongings

Items will be removed without notice from communal areas if they breach fire safety regulations.

Reduce the risks

The best way to keep flats safe from the risk of fire is to stop any fire from breaking out in the first place. You can reduce the risk of starting a fire by following the advice on these web pages.

If a fire does break out, it's important that:

  • people are warned
  • escape routes are clear
  • doors are closed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke

Smoke detectors

Smoke detectors are the most effective way of protecting against the risk of fire in the home. They give a vital early warning at the first sign of fire, letting everyone know to get out.

Mains-wired smoke detectors are the safest. They are fitted to all council homes at the start of tenancy, so if you are a council tenant you should tell your Estate Officer or Sheltered Housing Manager if you don't have one.

If you are a council leaseholder, it's your responsibility to make sure your property has working smoke detectors on each floor level.


Doors stop the spread of fire and smoke. Make sure:

  • all doors close properly
  • internal doors are never removed
  • doors are always closed at night

Your front door will stop smoke and flames so it is one of the most important ways to protect you and your neighbours. You should never alter or remove any doors, especially your front door, without taking advice on fire safety.

Other things you can do to help


  • never store prams, bicycles or mobility scooters in communal areas – we operate a sterile communal area policy, including drying and bin rooms
  • never obstruct the communal areas, which often be the fire escape route for the block
  • never prop open fire doors in communal areas
  • never clutter the stairs, corridors and landings with personal items or things that can set fire easily
  • if you see anything in the communal areas that doesn't belong there, remove it or tell your Estate Officer or Sheltered Housing Manager
  • never store flammable materials in cupboards that have electrical circuits
  • make sure you put all rubbish in the bins provided — don't leave it lying around in the refuse area as this can easily be set on fire