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Your building is designed to resist fire and stop the spread of smoke.

picture of the front cover of our fire safety leafletIf your front door opens out into a communal hallway, it's important that you know what to do if there is a fire in your block and how you can help keep safe.

You should

  • PLAN escape routes before a fire happens
  • KNOW what safety actions to take during a fire
  • REPORT any fire hazards immediately
  • DO YOUR PART to prevent fires

Be prepared

Don’t panic - it can make you act foolishly and lead you into danger.

If you know what to do ahead of time, it could save your life.

Make sure you know:

  • What your smoke alarm sounds like
  • What to do
  • How to call the fire service
  • Your escape route or routes - don't use the lift 

If another flat or communal area is on fire

During a fire you can’t use the lifts and the stairs could be overcrowded with fire-fighters who need the stairs to be clear.

Rather than try to escape, “stay put” it is safer to stay in your flat and it’s designed to resist fire getting in. 

If the fire’s in another flat:

  • Call 999 to report the fire.
  • Close all doors and go to the living room. It’s usually the safest place to be.

Stay safe, stay put:

Remember, you should always try to evacuate if you feel at risk due to the proximity of the fire and call 999 immediately. If you are unable to evacuate, then we advise tenants to follow the “stay safe, stay put” guidance.

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Image of person sealing the room, staying low and opening the window

Smoke is the main danger from fire and you should avoid breathing it if possible.


To help avoid breathing smoke:

  • SEAL THE ROOM: Stuff wet towels and sheets in gaps around doors to seal out smoke.


  • STAY LOW – SMOKE RISES: It may help to tie a wet cloth over your nose and mouth for easier breathing, but this won’t filter out deadly gases.


  • VENT ANY SMOKE: If there’s no smoke outside, open a window slightly. You might need to close it later, so only break it if necessary.



If your flat is on fire – act fast

Don’t ignore your smoke alarm. If a door feels hot, there’s probably a fire on the other side.

You Should:

  • Close the door of the room where the fire is and other doors to prevent the spread of fire and smoke
  • Get out, closing the front door behind you, and stay out.
  • Call 999 or 112 to report the fire.

    If you are trapped and can’t call 999:

  • Close all doors and go to the balcony or a window. Attract attention by shouting, waving a cloth, or in any way you can.
  • Don’t jump – wait to be rescued.

If you must leave your flat

Image of person going down the stairs with a scarf over their mouth and nose.Go calmly, using the stairs and hold on to the rail. If you’re stopped by heavy smoke go to a smoke-free area and wait for the fire service. 

You should only leave your flat if:

  • The fire is in your flat
  • Your flat is full of smoke
  • The fire service tells you to go

If you do leave:

  • Take your key if you can get it safely
  • Close the door behind you
  • Take a torch, if handy
  • Do not use the lift.

Stop fires before they start

You can help prevent fires in high-rise blocks.

Make sure:

  • You do not use Calor gas, liquid gas or paraffin heaters in your flat
  • You do not light BBQs on balconies
  • You do not store inflammable, explosive or noxious substances such as petrol, paraffin in the block

You should take care with:

  • Smoking and cooking (the main causes of fire)
  • Electrical appliances
  • Flammable liquids – check the label.
  • Dispose of rubbish correctly

Report fire hazards, such as:

  • Missing or broken fire equipment and fire doors
  • Blocked stairs
  • Electrical problems
  • Rubbish
  • Faulty exit lights
  • Nearby flats that are empty but not secure.

You should also:

  • Test your smoke alarm weekly by pushing the test button. Contact us if you don’t have smoke alarms or if your alarm is faulty.
  • Keep fire doors closed to slow the spread of fire and smoke.
  • Keep all communal areas clear – they’re your escape route.
  • Free "Safe and well visits" can be arranged with the Fire Service on 0800 389 5525.


Download this information as a PDF:

Fire safety in flats.pdf


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