Sterile Blocks

Sterile Block Policy

Following a number of fires in communal areas, in 2016 the council adopted a Sterile Environment policy in all blocks of flats.

The policy ensures our blocks comply with current best practice by making sure that all communal areas are kept clear of any items. This includes bicycles, doormats, prams / pushchairs, plants, old furniture and any other items.

The move is based on the advice of the Fire Service, which says that the implementation of a Sterile Environment policy in our blocks of flats will increase tenant safety and safeguard against the threat of fire spreading.

In the event of a fire in a block of flats, we run a ‘stay put’ policy. Tenants in unaffected flats are advised to remain in their properties while the Fire Service deals with the incident. However, the policy is undermined when items are stored in communal areas - such as shared stairways and landings – as they provide fuel for fires to spread between properties, while potentially impeding access for firefighters.

Of particular danger to residents are mobility scooters. These vehicles have a poor safety record and have been the cause of many serious fires. As a consequence, they are now banned from all of our communal areas. This video demonstrates the hazard that mobility scooters present.

From September 2017, all of the council's communal areas have been classed as Sterile areas. This means if you place any items in a communal area you will be asked to remove them.