Fire safety

We are committed to keeping residents safe in their homes by maintaining fire precautions in our properties and providing information and advice to residents.

Regular risk assessments are carried out to identify safety concerns and complete improvement works to address them.

We work with external regulators, including the London Fire Brigade, to check that we follow good practice for safety in our properties. We investigate accidents and incidents and review our health and safety performance with help from external experts.

We have a number of safety measures in place appropriate to the type of block concerned, many of which go beyond the legal requirements. These include:

  • a comprehensive professionally undertaken fire risk assessment programme with action plans to remedy any issues
  • regular fire inspections and estate inspections
  • emergency lighting in communal areas
  • fire alarms in the communal areas of many larger blocks.

Do you know your fire plan?

Information is provided in each building on what to do in the event of a fire and we ask residents to familiarise themselves with the details specific to their building and follow the directions given.

We also work very closely with the London Fire Brigade and ask residents to go to their website for further information about fire safety at home (opens in new window) and making sure you know your fire plan (opens in new window).

If you have concerns about the safety of your home or wish to report an incident, please contact us.

Blocks of flats

Almost all blocks of flats, including those managed by SHP, have a ‘stay put if safe to do so’ guidance which is fully supported by the fire brigade. 

The ‘stay put’ guidance is in place because purpose-built blocks are constructed to give protection from fire and make it safe for people to stay in their homes while the fire is tackled - unless your flat is directly affected by smoke or fire. 

The stay-put guidance says:

  • You can choose to stay put unless your flat is being directly affected by fire or smoke or you are instructed to evacuate by the fire brigade e.g. through 999 call.
  • This means do not stay put in any and all circumstances. You stay as long as you think it is safe or are instructed by the fire brigade. The golden rule is that wherever you are, if you can see or smell smoke or fire, you get out and stay out. 
  • If there is a fire in your flat, you get out, close the door after you, stay out, and contact the fire brigade. This means you leave your flat and then leave the building, closing all doors behind you to slow the spread of any fire and contact the fire brigade. 
  • If you are in a communal area and you think there is a fire, get out and stay out.  
  • If you are in your flat and believe that there is a fire elsewhere in the building, but not in your flat, for as long as you cannot see or smell smoke or fire then the fire brigade advice is that you should stay in your flat if safe to do so, contact them and await their instructions and arrival. 
  • However, you are the expert on the conditions where you are, and if you feel unsafe for any reason, the fire brigade advise you should make your way to the fire escape, closing doors behind you and leave. Do not use the lift. 

Familiarise yourself with the fire safety advice for the building that is posted in the communal areas. 

Visit the London Fire Brigade website (opens in new window) and click on ‘Purpose-built flat, bedsit or maisonette’ for more information on what to do in the event of a fire.

Keeping communal areas clear

No materials should be stored in communal areas. This means residents are not permitted to keep any personal items in communal areas including hallways, stairwells and landings.

We undertake regular inspections to keep these areas clear and need all residents to ensure communal areas are kept clear and free from items that may hinder anyone getting in and out of the block in the event of an emergency.

Visit our clear communal spaces page for more information. 

Please help us to keep the block clear and safe and as always we encourage residents with any specific concerns about their home or block to contact us.

Balcony safety 

Balconies are a great outdoor space and can be fantastic for taking in some fresh air or sitting in the sunshine. However, please make sure that you stay safe. Fires that start on balconies can be devastating and it is important to follow some easy steps to avoid them:

  • Never use a BBQ on the balcony;
  • Avoid having naked flames, such as candles or tealights;
  • Do not have electrical goods on the balcony;
  • Do not store flammable items or rubbish

The London Fire Brigade provides some great advice for outdoor cooking on its website (opens in new window).

Smoking in the home

Smoking is the number one cause of fatal fires in the home. The best advice is to quit, but if that is not an option then always follow these steps to stay safe and avoid fires: 

  • If possible smoke outside, it is much safer;
  • Always make sure cigarettes are put out completely and always use a proper ashtray on a stable surface;
  • NEVER smoke in bed, and be extra careful smoking whilst sitting on soft furnishings;
  • Empty ashtrays regularly, do not allow them to overflow;
  • ALWAYS keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children

The London Fire Brigade provides some great advice about smoking safely on its website (opens in new window).

Candle safety

In 2018 over 200 fires in the home were caused by unattended candles and tealights. We know that they can be relaxing, but it is essential that they are used safely. These are some tips for staying safe: 

  • Try using LED or battery-powered candles, there are many available that can create a very realistic effect and they are far safer;
  • Do not leave candles or tealights unattended and always make sure they are put out completely before going to bed;
  • Always use heat resistant holders and make sure that they are on a stable surface away from flammable items;
  • Never use candles or tealights on a window cill next to an open window and / or net curtains;
  • Keep candles and tealights out of the reach of children and pets.

The London Fire Brigade provides some great advice about the safe use of candles on its website (opens in new window).

Useful links 

Please remember to test your smoke alarms regularly or contact us if you require smoke alarms.