Fire safety in your home

Most fires in the home can be prevented, by taking some basic and common-sense precautions.

You can keep you and your family safe by understanding the common risks so you can take steps to reduce them in your home.

Here are our top tips to significantly reduce the risk of fire.

  • Keep your cooker clean and don’t leave the kitchen unattended when cooking.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Double check your cooker and hob are turned off when finished cooking.
  • Avoid cooking when under the influence of alcohol.
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
  • Don’t put anything metal in the microwave.
  • Avoid deep fat frying using chip pans. Use a thermostat-controlled electric deep fat fryer instead.
  • Keep any candles in a heat resistant holder and never leave them unattended. Keep children and pets away from candles.
  • Don’t use portable heaters, unless agreed with your neighbourhood officer.
  • If you smoke, make sure to stub out cigarettes thoroughly and dispose of them carefully (never directly into a bin). Never smoke in bed.
  • Keep any matches or lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Unplug e-cigarettes when fully charged and ensure you’re using the correct charger.
  • Buy electrical items like phone chargers and Christmas decorations from reputable sources.
  • Try and keep to one plug per socket.
  • Keep electrics (leads and appliances) away from water.
  • Unplug appliances when you’re not using them, they are fully charged, or when you go to bed.
  • Don’t store anything in cupboards containing gas appliances or hot water cylinders.
  • Test the batteries in your smoke alarm regularly at least every month by pressing the button until it makes a loud beeping noise. Report to believe housing immediately if there is no beeping noise when testing alarm.
  • Make sure exits out of the property are always clear and plan an emergency escape with your household to ensure everyone knows what to do in unlikely event of a fire.
  • Never burn rubbish or wood.
  • Never place barbecues directly on the ground or decking, keep them away from fences, plants or windows.
  • Don’t light barbecues in garages or close to buildings.
  • Never leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or away from the home
  • Never block any exits to the property with mobility scooters, e-bikes, electric wheelchairs or their batteries
  • Charge batteries while you are awake and alert, so that if a fire occurs you can respond quickly

Further information on mobility scooter/e-scooter and e-bike safety is available on believe housings by clicking here.

If there is a fire inside your home

  • Leave by the nearest exit
  • If you can’t get out, get everyone in the property into one room ideally with a window and a phone, ensuring the door is closed.
  • Put bedding around the bottom of the door to block out smoke.
  • Call 999 then open the window and shout “HELP FIRE”.
  • If you’re on the ground or 1st floor, you may be able to escape out of the window. Use bedding/pillows to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully. Don’t jump.

If you live in a flat with a communal area there are further measures in place to make sure that you remain safe in your property.

In addition to the usual safety checks carried out in homes (e.g. gas servicing) believe housing also undertake the following.

  • Check the safety and function of fire doors.
  • Check any communal electrical systems.
  • Check emergency lighting is in working order. Emergency lights are powered though battery power and ensure that if there is disruption the mains power supply, communal corridors remain lit so residents can get in and out of the block.
  • Inspect the communal areas every month to ensure that they are in good repair and any health and safety related issues are dealt with.
  • Test communal fire alarms (where these are fitted)
  • Complete fire risk assessments in communal areas and attend to any issues raised promptly. Information on the findings from fire risk assessments will be shared with all residents.
  • Complete surveys of the buildings structure to identify and remedy any issues.

Your fire door is specially designed to control the spread of fire and smoke and is vital to allow occupants to either remain in the flat or safely evacuate and enable to fire brigade to gain access to fight a fire should one occur. If is therefore critical that fire doors are fitted correctly and maintained to allow them to perform.

All the fire doors fitted in believe housing flats blocks offer 30-minute fire resistance and have been installed by accredited contractors.

To ensure fire doors can do their job effectively customers must ensure the following.

  • All fire doors are kept closed: they must not be propped or wedged open.
  • Doors and self-closers must not be tampered with or worked on by anyone other than believe housing.
  • Any faults or damage to fire doors is reported immediately on 0300 1311 999.

believe housing will inspect fire doors at least once per year and you will receive the appointment for this by letter. It is vital to your safety that these checks that residents allow access for these important safety checks.

get in touch

If you have any concerns about fire safety in your home please contact believe housing on 0300 1311 999 or