Fire Safety Handbook

Fire Safety Handbook

Make sure you understand the risks fire poses so you can keep yourself safe at home. Read our guidelines below. 

Our role keeping you safe

As your landlord we make sure that:

  • Fire safety checks and risk assessments are carried out.
  • You have smoke alarms on each floor of your home.
  • You have carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with gas appliances.

Please report any problems with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to us and we will arrange repairs or replacements.

Call us on 01295 221615 or email:

Follow these ten tips in the kitchen

The most common location for house fires is the kitchen, therefore:

  • Do not leave hot pots and pans unattended on the hob.  
  • Keep matches, lighters and saucepan handles out of reach of children.
  • Keep the oven, hob, grill and toaster clean to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Do not put metals in the microwave.
  • Do not store flammable liquids or gases such as petrol and butane in the home.
  • Turn all appliances off when you’ve finished cooking.
  • Take extra care cooking if you have drunk alcohol or are taking medication that could make you drowsy.
  • Never use a barbecue in a confined space.
  • Consider an air fryer or deep fryer as a safer alternative to deep fat frying on the hob.
  • Never throw water on an oil pan fire.

In case of fire

  • Stay calm.
  • Leave the room and close the door.
  • Raise the alarm by calling 999 and asking for the fire service.
  • Do not take any unnecessary risks by trying to tackle the fire yourself.

Electrical appliances

Overloaded appliances cause around 4,000 fires per year. Make sure all your appliances have the British Safety Standard sign.

These easy steps will help prevent electrical appliance fires:

  • Do not overload sockets.
  • Keep to one plug per socket.
  • Unplug your devices when they’re not in use.
  • If you need to use an extension lead, bar type adapters are safer.
  • Avoid “daisy-chaining” one extension into another.
  • Appliances draw different amounts of power – know the limit on your extension lead higher powered appliances like washing machines and electric heaters always need their own socket.
  • Avoid concealing cables with carpet, as damage could go unnoticed.
  • Make sure the plug has the correct fuse for the appliance.
  • Check for signs of loose or frayed wiring and faulty/damaged plugs or sockets.
  • Never use appliances in the bathroom or wet areas unless the appliance is designed for it.
  • Ensure you use genuine appliances and chargers, look for the CE mark avoid leaving devices charging overnight.
  • When charging devices, leave them on heatproof surfaces.
  • Tell us straight away if you spot any burn marks or exposed cables around goods we have provided. 
  • Remove and replace any frayed or damaged cables on your own equipment.

Our responsibilities

  • We check the electrical appliances and installations provided for every property before you move in and you will be provided with certification to show that the electrics are safe.
  • We are obliged to carry out an Electrical Installations Condition Report on every rented property every five years and a Portable Appliance Test every year on all appliances (those with a plug) that are provided by us.

Smoke alarms

  • It is essential to make sure your smoke alarms are in full working order. 
  • The type of smoke detection system fitted may vary from property to property. 
  • Landlords are legally obliged to provide smoke alarms. 
  • Tenants are responsible for making sure the alarms work and for testing them regularly (unless in communal areas), including changing the battery when required. 
  • Test your alarms every week. 
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are kept clean and clear from obstructions. 
  • Do not paint over smoke alarms.

If you have difficulty hearing or with your sight, there are adaptations that can be made to alarms in your home to assist you. Please contact us for more information and to find out what help and support is available.

Our responsibilities

  • All our homes are fitted with smoke alarms and heat detectors in the kitchen. 
  • If you have a gas boiler, your house will also have a CO2 monitor. 
  • When we service your boiler we’ll also check your CO2 monitor. 
  • We do annual fire risk assessments in all our properties and review the fire prevention procedures. 

If you’re living in a multiple occupancy home (HMO), we’ll test your fire alarm weekly and also do evacuation checks every now and again.

Fire doors

Your fire doors are there to stop a fire spreading from one part of a property to another. Keeping the door to your own flat or room closed will help if there’s a fire.

  • Always keep doors to communal areas closed. 
  • Never prop a fire door open. 
  • If one of your doors gets damaged, let us know.

Our responsibilities

Fire doors are checked on a regular basis in communal areas and are always part of the annual fire risk assessment.

Communal areas

  • Communal areas must be kept free from any obstructions and from anything that could catch fire. 
  • Mats are not allowed in communal areas – they present a slip hazard. 
  • Do not store your belongings in or around the stairs. 
  • Mobility scooters and push chairs should not be stored in communal areas. 
  • Smoking is not allowed in communal areas.

Our responsibilities

We regularly check the communal areas to identify any hazards. If you’re storing personal belongings in a communal area, we may ask you to remove them.

Gas Safety

Gas Safety within your home is very important, and carries additional risks as well as fire, such as those posed by Carbon Monoxide.

  • If there is an issue with your gas appliance, please contact us. Never attempt to repair it yourself. 
  • Keep the area around your gas appliances, such as your boiler and the flue, clear. This will reduce the risks associated with gas appliances. 
Our responsibilities
  • We will ensure your gas appliance is safe when you move in, and provide you with a safety certificate.
  • We will service your gas appliances, such as your boiler, annually.

Keeping yourself safe in your home


  • If you are drying clothes indoors, don’t place them too close to, or over, a heater. 
  • Clothes can catch fire if they get too hot.

Electric Blankets

  • Do not fold electric blankets.
  • Protect the wiring inside them by storing them flat or rolled up. 
  • Do not leave an electric blanket switched on all night, unless it has a thermostat to avoid it overheating. 
  • Inspect electric blankets regularly for signs of damage. 
  • Electric blankets should carry the British Standard Kitemark and the British Electro-technical Approvals Board symbol.

Tumble Dryers

  • Tumble dryers should only be used whilst you are at home, and not overnight. 
  • Lint should be cleaned after each use. 
  • The dryer can get very hot, so be careful when touching it and keep the vents clear of obstructions. 
  • Make sure you clean dryers in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.


  • Never leave a lit candle unattended.
  • Put lit candles out when leaving the room. 
  • Do not light candles near material that could catch fire, such as curtains. 
  • Avoid using candles if you have young children.


Cigarettes and smoking are a common cause of fire and fatalities, so remember:

  • Never smoke in bed and take particular care if you have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that makes you drowsy. 
  • Do not leave lit cigarettes, cigars, or pipes unattended, they can easily overbalance and land on flammable materials. 
  • Make sure cigarettes, cigars or pipes are completely out. 
  • Never smoke in communal areas. 
  • If you smoke, it’s much safer to do so outside. 
  • Dispose of cigarette butt-ends safety and without littering.

Furniture and fabrics

The furniture item will have a sign to show it meets the necessary standards. These can be under or within chairs, cushions, beds and mattresses.

Fire prevention plans

Flats and shared houses have fire notices displayed that tell you where to go if there’s a fire. 

  • Make sure that you know the exit routes and have a plan for any escape if required. That includes knowing how many doors you might need to go through, as smoke can make escaping a fire confusing. 
  • To help, make sure you keep door and window keys where they can be easily found.

What to do if there is a fire

It is crucial you try and remain calm if there is a fire. As soon as you notice a fire observe the following advice:

  • Call the emergency services on 999, even if you think you can put the fire out yourself alert neighbours if you can on the way out, banging on doors or activating any fire alarms. 
  • Alert everyone in your property. 
  • Get out of the property, do not stop to collect your belongings. 
  • Close doors behind you. 
  • Keep low to the ground if there is a lot of smoke. 
  • If fire is blocking your exits and you are in a flat, return to your flat, close the door, go into a room, and close the door. 
  • Use items such as bedding to cover the bottom of the door to stop smoke coming in and await rescue and advice from the fire brigade.

E-Scooters and E-Bike Fire Safety


  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging and always unplug your charger when it is finished charging. 
  • Ensure that you have working smoke alarms. Wherever you charge or store your e-bike or e-scooter ensure there is detection.    
  • Charge batteries whilst you are awake and alert so if a fire should occur you can respond quickly. Do not leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or away from the home. 
  • Always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product, and if you spot any signs of wear and tear or damage buy an official replacement charger for your product from a reputable seller and displays the British Standard marks. 
  • Do not cover chargers or battery packs when charging as this could lead to overheating or even a fire. 
  • Do not charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials. 
  • Do not overcharge your battery – check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times. 
  • In the event of an e-bike, e-scooter, or lithium-ion battery fire – do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.    


  • Avoid storing or charging e-bikes and e-scooters on escape routes or in communal areas of a multi occupied building. If there is a fire, it can affect people’s ability to escape.  
  • Store e-bikes and e-scooters and their batteries in a cool place. Avoid storing them in excessively hot or cold areas. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the storage and maintenance of lithium -ion batteries if they are not going to be used for extended periods of time. 

Damage and disposal 

  • If a battery is damaged, it can overheat and catch fire without warning. Check your battery regularly for any signs of damage and if you suspect it is damaged it should be replaced and should not be used or charged. 
  • Do not dispose of the battery in your household waste or normal recycling. Check the Council website for a suitable place to recycle your battery.