Your safety in your home is an absolute priority for us. We undertake regular fire safety checks and risk assessments to keep you safe but it's important you do your bit too by following the advice below.
Fire safety in high-rise properties, flats or maisonettes
If your flat or maisonette is being affected by fire or smoke and your escape route is clear:
Get everyone out, close the door and walk calmly out of the building.
- Do not use the lift.
- Call 999, give your address, the number of your flat and state which floor the fire is on.
- If there is a fire or smoke inside your flat or maisonette and your escape route is NOT clear:
- It may be safer to stay in your flat or maisonette until the fire brigade arrives.
- Find a safe room, close the door and use soft materials to block any gaps to stop the smoke.
- Go to a window, shout “HELP, FIRE” and call 999.
- Be ready to describe where you are and the quickest way to reach you.
- It is easy to get confused in smoke so count how many doors you need to go through to reach the stairs
- Familiarise yourself with the information on the fire safety notices.
If there is a fire in another part of the building:
- Purpose-built maisonettes or blocks of flats are built to give you some protection from fire. Walls, floors and doors can hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes.
- You are usually safer staying put and calling 999. Tell the fire brigade where you are and the best way to reach you.
- If you are within the common parts of the building, leave and call 999.
If you live in a flat, you must keep shared corridors, stairwells and stairs clear of rubbish and belongings, they are fire exits routes and need to be kept clear.
Keep all fires doors closed,
- If a fire starts in any of the communal areas, leave the building if it is safe to do so. In these circumstances, you would be expected to make your own way out of the building
- Do not use the lifts
- Once safely outside the building, contact the Fire and Rescue Service to report the fire.
Your home is fitted with a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms save lives. We will come and check it every 12 months to ensure it is working correctly but we would expect you to check it on a weekly or monthly basis. Why not build it into your cleaning routine?
Looking after your smoke alarm:
- Never disconnect your smoke alarm
- Test your smoke alarm every week by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds
- Regularly check the battery in your smoke alarm and replace if it runs out. Contact KNH if your smoke alarm does not sound when you test it or it bleeps constantly, or if there is any other fault.
Preventing common fires in your home
It’s important that you do everything you can to prevent fires in your home. Follow our top tips:
Plugs and appliances
- Make sure all your electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them
- Do not overload extension leads or adaptors
- Always use the correctly rated plug fuse to prevent appliances from overheating
- Do not use appliances that show dangerous or loose wiring such as:
- scorch marks
- hot plugs and sockets
- fuses that blow or circuit breakers that trip for no obvious reason
- flickering lamps or lights
- Unplug appliances when you are not using them or when you go to bed at night.
- Never use them for drying clothes and keep them clear from flammable materials such as curtains and furniture
- Fix heaters against a wall to stop them falling.
Using electric blankets
- Unplug blankets before you get into bed unless it has a thermostat and is safe for all-night use
- Do not fold electric blankets. Store them flat or rolled up instead.
Ensure all washing machines, dryers and fridges are well maintained to avoid fire risks.
- Only use in a safe place and when you are in the room.
- Remember to put them out before you leave the room or go to bed.
Cigarettes, lighters and matches
- Where possible consider smoking outside your home
- Always use a proper ashtray, never a bin
- Never smoke in bed
- Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully
- Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire
- Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking. You might fall asleep and set something alight
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
Planning a safe escape from your home
What would you do if you need to escape from your home quickly in the night? Do you have a plan?
Be prepared by making a plan of escape.
- Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to escape
- Make sure exits are kept clear
- Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them
- The best route is the normal route in and out of your home
- Think of a second route in case the first one should become blocked
- Take a few minutes to practice your escape plan – it could save your life
- Close internal doors at night, as these can help to stop a fire from spreading.
What to do if there is a fire
- Don’t tackle fires yourself. Leave it to the Fire Service
- Keep calm and act quickly. Get everyone out as soon as possible
- Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables
- If there is smoke, keep low where the air is clearer. Before you open a door, check if it’s warm. If it is, don’t open it – the fire is on the other side
- Call 999 and report the fire as soon as you are clear of the building
- Do not return to your home until instructed by the Fire Service.
What to do if your escape is blocked
- If you can’t get out, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone
- Put bedding or similar around the bottom of the door to block out the smoke. Phone 999 for the Fire Service or, if there is no phone, open the window and call “HELP! FIRE!”
- If you’re on the ground floor, you may be able to escape through a window
- Use bedding or something similar to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully
- If you can’t open the window, break the glass in the bottom corner. Make jagged edges safe with towels or blankets.
Contact KNH if you have any concerns about fire safety in your home.