Fire Safety Advice

Fire safety advice

Most domestic fires can be prevented by taking adequate precautions. Your council home has fire safety features fitted to make sure you are protected in the event of fire. The information below can also help you make sure you know what to do in the event of a fire and how to prevent it.

Fire prevention safety tips

Taking steps to prevent fire is the first thing you can do. You can use the tips below to take additional precautions to keep your home safe from the devastation fire can cause;

  • Fire Detection - your home is fitted with smoke / heat detectors which will alert you in the event of fire. You should test the batteries regularly by pressing the button until the alarm sounds. Never remove the batteries, tamper with or disconnect your smoke alarms.  If you are deaf or hard of hearing, contact the Action on Hearing Loss Information Line on 0808 808 0123 for advice about strobe light or vibrating alarms.

  • Ensure furniture and soft furnishings in your home are fire retardant and meet fire safety regulations

  • Do not leave cooking unattended, or hang items from cookers such as tea towels and always ensure you turn the cooker off when finished. Keep your hob, oven and grill clean and free of any fat/grease build up by wiping down after cooking

  • Do not overload electric sockets, use appliances with damaged cables or flexes or link extension leads together

  • Take extreme care when using candles or burners and never leave them unattended or near open windows or fabric such as curtains

  • Never smoke in bed. Always ensure cigarettes are extinguished properly.

  • Turn appliances off at night and close internal doors, especially fire doors. This will help stop fire spreading.

  • Keep your home free of the build up of 'clutter' which can help fire spread more rapidly and hinder escape. For advice on hoarding visit the Help for Hoarders website. Click here to view fire safety tips for hoarders.

You can download further fire safety advice here.

Make a plan of escape

Council owned blocks of flats operate a stay-put policy which means tenants can usually remain in their flats until help arrives. However, regardless of the type of home you live in, it is always advisable to have an escape plan ready and make sure everyone in your household knows how to escape.

  • Your exit route is likely to be the main entrance in/out of your home but have a think about what you would do if this route was blocked by flames? How else could you leave? Have a back up exit route if possible. Keep all potential exit routes clear, for example do not block back doors.
  • Keep window and door keys where everyone can find them in an emergency.

In the event of fire

Keep calm and act quickly. Call 999. Do not tackle the fire yourself.

If you live in a block of flats and the fire is not in your property, you should 'stay-put' until help arrives. Flats are provided with a fire door (front door) that will prevent fire and smoke from getting in. Do not replace or alter your fire door in any way. The door is also fitted with a self-closer to ensure it cannot be left open and special seals on the top and bottom prevent smoke entering through the gaps. The letter box is designed to seal itself in the event of fire.

If the fire is within your property, or you do not live in a block of flats, you need to get everyone out as quickly as possible. Don't waste time investigating what's happened or retrieving your possessions or valuables. If there is smoke, keep to where the air is clearer. If you can't get out, get everyone into one room and put damp towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to stop smoke getting in. Open the window and shout for help.

Sterile Blocks

All council owned blocks of flats have a Sterile Blocks Policy in place. This means that you may not leave any items in communal areas such as entrance lobbies, landings or stairwells. This includes mobility scooters (which are highly flammable), bikes, pushchairs, doormats or any other items. This prevents blockages and obstructions which could impede emergency exit by residents or entry by the emergency services.

Get a free home fire safety check

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service offer free home visits to provide advice on fire safety in the home.