Staying safe in your home – fire safety
It’s really important that we all have a fire safety plan and make sure everyone in our homes knows what to do should a fire breakout. We’ve pulled together some helpful reminders and tips to help keep you safe.
In the event of a fire, if you can, you should evacuate the building and call 999. If you can’t get out, you should stay put, ensuring that you move to a room away from the fire. Be sure to close all doors and put blankets or something similar at the bottom of the door to help prevent smoke entering the room. If you can’t call 999, you should shout FIRE from the window.
In the kitchen
- Always test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a week to make sure they’re working
- Keep cooking areas clear from flammable items like tea towels, oven gloves and food packaging
- Never leave pans unattended while cooking and avoid using chip pans Clean your oven and grill regularly – a build up of fat and grease could cause a fire
- Remember to close your kitchen door if you’re going out or off to bed; if a kitchen fire breaks out this can help buy you valueable escape time
- Overloading a plug socket can also cause fires
- Check your electrical appliances are in good working order – if the wires are damaged or frayed don’t use them
- It’s advisable to unplug all items before you go out or go to bed, except for important devices such as telecare equipment
- Never overload plug sockets or plug one extension lead into another – remember appliances like washing machines should have a single plug to themselves as they’re high powered
Glass ornaments and mirrors
- Think about where you are putting glass ornaments and mirrors – if they’re on windowsills and where they can catch the sun they could cause fires – especially if they’re next to windows and curtains.
Candles and incense burners
- We recommend not to use candles in your home – but if you do, never leave burning candles unattended, keep them away from flammable objects and always put them out before going to bed
- Using candle holders and making sure the candle fits firmly inside to reduce the risk of them falling
- Keep them away from draughts, curtains, furniture, and anything else that can catch fire
- Lit candles of any sort on top of televisions or other plastic surfaces could burn through, so be careful where you place them and use a non-flammable mat
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Never move a candle once it is lit.
- Use a low watt mains or battery lights for children rather than candles.
- Remember to blow out candles when leaving a room or going to bed.
- Never leave washing machines, tumble dryers or dishwashers running overnight
- Remember heaters should be kept well away from clothes, curtains, furniture and other flammable materials – make sure they’re switched off and unplugged before you go to bed
- Never use heaters to dry clothes
- Never use a BBQ indoors or on a balcony
- Never use portable gas heaters in your home
Smoking in your home
- Our general advice is not to smoke in your home, but if you do, always check it’s fully extinguished before leaving it
- Never smoke in bed – take extra care if you smoke when tired, taking prescription drugs that make you feel drowsy, or have been drinking
- If you smoke, always use a proper ashtray that can’t tip over
- Be careful if you use emollient creams –they can soak into clothing, bedding and dressings leaving a flammable residue
- Cigarettes, cigars or pipes should not be left unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
Checks to carry out before you go to bed
- Closing all doors helps to prevent fire spreading
- Switching off and unplugging electrical items such as TVs and avoid charging devices like mobile phones when you sleep are all precautions that help reduce the fire risk
- If you can, try to unplug all non-essential devices
- Make sure candles are out before you go to bed and check your cooker and heaters are turned off.
What to do if a fire breaks out in your home
Whether you live in a house, block of flats or shared accommodation, it’s always helpful to have a plan or know what procedures to follow, in the event of a fire or an emergency. Make sure any guests you have, especially children or other elderly people also know what to do.
If you live in a flat, block or shared accommodation
- Be familiar with your fire procedure for your block/ flats as these may vary depending where you live
- Keep exits clear from clutter and obstructions
- Keep your door and window keys in a known and accessible place
- Think of a second escape route in case the first one is blocked
- If you have an emergency pendant, make sure you wear it and have it close by when you go to bed.
In a lone property
- Plan an escape route and make sure everyone in the home knows this in the event of an emergency
- Make sure any guests you have, especially children or other elderly people also know what to do.
|Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
PFH will supply you with a smoke alarm and check this periodically, however it’s always a good idea to check weekly they are working or if the batteries need replacing.
||If there’s a problem with your alarm please call our customer service centre on 01482 223783.
Our guide to fire doors
What is a fire door?
Fire doors are flat entrance doors that allow access to your home, from a shared or communal area, and are designed to withstand fire for at least 30 minutes. They provide protection from fire and smoke. Fire doors are a legal requirement for flats which open onto communal areas shared with other tenants. This is to make sure crucial escape routes are protected if a fire breaks out.
The door will have a self–closing device attached to it and either the door edge or the door frame will have strips which swell up when heated, sealing any small gaps in the event of a fire. They may also have cold smoke seals (which look like small brushes) to provide extra smoke protection.
All fire doors/self-closing devices should be regularly checked and maintained to ensure that they are operating correctly.
Why are fire doors important?
A fire door ensures that should a fire break out, it can be contained in a ‘compartment’. This keeps the fire and smoke trapped for a defined period, allowing time for people to get out and make the fire easier to tackle.
They are designed to automatically close behind you in the event of fire, holding flames back and stopping the spread of the fire and toxic smoke into escape routes, corridors and other flats in the block. Used correctly, they stop fires from spreading through a building, giving people time to escape and for the fire and rescue service to attend, making it easier to tackle the fire.
Is it important that fire doors and their self-closers work properly?
They offer protection by limiting the spread of smoke and fire into shared or communal areas and escape routes. But the door seals and self-closing devices only work effectively if you fully close the door, every time you use it.
You should not need to pull your door closed to ensure it closes securely into its frame. It should fully close itself every time. If your flat’s fire door does not fully shut every time you use it, or you are having problems with the self-closer device, you must let us know immediately. We will come and adjust your door to make sure it closes properly.
We will regularly check the fire doors to ensure they are working as expected. However we need residents help in between by following the do’s and don’t listed below…
- Check that the door to your flat fully closes securely every time
- Let us know if any part of your door, door frame or self-closing device gets damaged
- Let us know if any of the fire/smoke seals or brushes are missing or loose
- Let us know if your door does not fully close every time. We will adjust the door or self-closing device
- Let us know if you have a letter box in your flat door and if any of the smoke seals or brushes are missing or loose
- Let us know if any fire doors in the corridors of your block are not working properly (e.g. broken door closure, door not fully shutting, damaged door frame/broken glass)
- Remove any ‘smoke seals’ or ‘smoke brushes’ that are part of the door or the door frame
- Paint over any of the smoke seals or brushes, as this will stop them working properly in the event of a fire
- Remove or disconnect any self-closing device that is attached to the door
- Make any alterations to any fire door, as that can reduce its fire resistance
- Drill any holes in the flat door to fit any door furniture, such as a safety chain
- Prop or wedge open any fire door
Fire door checklist
Does your door close correctly around all parts of the frame?
Is your door or frame warped or damaged in any way?
Are any of your fire doors propped or wedged open? If so, please remove the wedges
Are any of the seals or brushes damaged or missing?