Fire safety for council tenants

Fire safety for council tenants

How to prevent a fire in your home and getting a smoke alarm

Fire and smoke can spread quickly and both can be deadly. It’s important that you know how to prevent fires and what to do if there’s a fire in your home.

  If there's a fire in your home or you see a fire in someone else’s home call 999 as soon as possible. Don’t try to put the fire out, leave that to the fire brigade.

Avon Fire and Rescue

Avon Fire and Rescue provide emergency and protection services across Bristol and surrounding areas. Visit their website for advice on:

Avon Fire and Rescue: advice if fire in a block of flats  

If there is fire or smoke in or entering your flat:

  • leave your flat and close the door
  • use the stairs
  • Never use the lift

Get out, stay out, call 999. Never assume someone has called.

If there is fire or smoke in or entering your flat elsewhere in your block:

  • close your windows and doors
  • stay in and tune in to local TV or radio
  • stay put unless advised by the fire service

Call 999 to raise the alarm the alarm. Stay put and wait for further advice.

Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms save lives by giving you vital extra seconds to escape a fire. All of our individual properties should be fitted with smoke
detectors, one on each level.

Most tenants are responsible for testing and maintaining their smoke alarm. It is crucial to test them and replace batteries when needed.

If your home does not have a smoke detector, if you cannot replace the battery yourself, or have concerns about your smoke detector, please contact us on 0117 922 2200 or visit the Citizen Services Point, Temple Street.

Find out more information about how to use and maintain a smoke alarm (pdf, 481k) (opens new window) .

Preventing fires

Most fires can be avoided if you follow a few simple rules:

  • test your smoke alarm weekly, especially if it’s battery powered
  • check your home and make sure it’s safe, especially the kitchen as this is where two thirds of fires happen. Call Avon Fire and Rescue on 0800 1693 999 for free advice about staying safe in your home
  • make sure any electrical fittings aren’t broken and report any broken switches, sockets, lights fittings or exposed wiring to us
  • don’t use or store propane gas bottles, paraffin, petrol or other flammable liquids
  • close all internal doors when you go to sleep
  • turn off any electrical items that aren’t designed to be left on for a long time
  • never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended
  • keep matches away from children
  • never leave cookers unattended if they’re being used, especially if you’re using hot oil
  • only use candles in a proper candle holder, keep them away from anything flammable and don’t leave them unattended
  • don’t dry or air clothes near heaters, cookers or open fires

If you live in a block of flats then there are a few other things you should be aware of:

  • never wedge fire doors open
  • dispose of rubbish responsibly and never leave flammable material in communal areas
  • don’t smoke in communal areas, including landings, lifts, foyers, stairwells, walkways, community rooms and storage cage areas
  • keep communal areas and walkways free of obstacles because this is the quickest way out of the building when there’s a fire

Keep stairs and corridors free

If you live in a block of flats the stairs and corridors are important escape routes so they must be kept free.  This means that only small items such as flower pots or decorations can be left in them.

Every block has its own guidelines on what can and cannot be left in corridors and these should be on display for you to see.

If you do leave any items in a corridor then we’ll carry out a risk assessment to check how dangerous they are.

Mobility scooters

If you own a mobility scooter you must not leave it in communal areas such as landings, foyers, stairwells, walkways and community rooms so that everyone has a clear exit if there’s a fire.

Some blocks of flats have mobility scooter stores that you can use. 
Find out more about mobility scooter storage.