Staying safe in your home
Your local fire service will be able to offer clear advice about what to do in the event of a fire and the things you can do to prevent a fire starting in your home.
For example, see the advice from the Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service Bucks Fire & Rescue Service | Home Fire Safety | Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes
We carry out regular Fire Risk Assessments of blocks of flats where there are communal areas and entrances. Fire alarms and fire safety doors are checked monthly and all of our blocks have up to date assessments. Our Estates Officers carry out regular checks to identify any potential fire hazards and any emergency lighting and smoke vents are regularly checked by specialist contractors.
We install smoke alarms in all our properties but residents are responsible for maintaining them. The batteries should be tested once a month and replaced when necessary. There is more information on smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors here
If you live in a block of flats, the following information is important:
- you will have been provided with information about evacuation procedures when you first moved in, and there will be signs in common areas providing escape information. Please make sure that you are familiar with it. The signs are checked by Estate Services staff regularly – please let us know if you can’t find the information
- don’t prop open fire doors – these are self-closing doors which prevent or slow down the spread of fire
- don’t use riser cupboards or communal areas to store your personal belongings – this may provide additional material to fuel a fire, or block escape routes or fire brigade access
- do not use lifts to leave the building in the event of a fire – use the stairs
- if you live in a flat, make sure your front door closes on its own when released from a completely open position. It if doesn’t let us know as the closer may need adjusting
If you have a balcony
If a fire breaks out on your balcony, it could spread much faster than a fire inside your building. See our tips below for keeping fire safe with a balcony:
What is not allowed on my balcony?
- Do not use barbecues. Falling embers from a BBQ can burn items on your balcony
- You must not use an outdoor patio heater or a flame pit
- Never use fireworks of any type
- Never store gas cylinders or any item containing flammable liquid
- Never install reed fencing or any other combustible screening
- Do not dispose of a cigarette by flicking it over the side of your balcony
What can I use my balcony for?
- You can keep plants and a few small items of patio furniture on your balcony
- Please keep your balcony as clean and tidy as possible, this will help prevent the start and spread of fires
Keeping your balcony safe
- If you do smoke on your balcony, always fully extinguish any cigarettes using an ashtray or bucket with water or sand
- Do not store any bulky or flammable items. Keep any items to a minimum by removing rubbish and combustible items like furniture, timber, decorating materials and children’s plastic toys
- Any white or electrical goods (fridges, tumble dryers) must not be stored on balconies. These items are not suitable for outdoor use and may start a fire