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Fire Safety - Information for Residents

Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in West London we would like to assure you that Your Housing Group takes fire safety extremely seriously and complies with all relevant legislation.

We have in place specific fire risk procedures that are tailored to your building. These procedures are reviewed annually and are designed by qualified and certified fire risk assessors. Procedures may vary from building to building, depending on the building type. Fire safety equipment is formally tested and checked regularly by Your Housing Group staff or their Contractors.

In light of the events in London we are reviewing our fire procedures and working closely with the Fire Service and our assessors to ensure we are doing all we can to keep you safe.

How you can help

You can help us with this too and so we thought this was the ideal opportunity to remind you of what you need to know in case there is a fire in your property.

  • Please take a moment to re-read the fire evacuation notice/procedure for your building
  • Make a note of the fire alarm equipment and how it will alert you to a fire
  • Do not store anything in your hall or corridor, especially anything that can burn easily
  • Consider “rehearsing” what you would do in the event of a fire, either physically or in your head.

Think about:

  • How you would evacuate the building if you needed to and the exit route you would need to take
  • How you might raise the alarm and alert your neighbours
  • Calling the Fire and Rescue Service as soon as possible

We appreciate you may have many questions and the following FAQ may help. While the investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire continues we realise more questions may be raised in the coming days and weeks and we will keep you informed of all developments.

Should you have any concerns please speak to your Housing Manager or call Your Response on 0345 345 0272. 

Further Questions and Answers

How do I know what to do in the event of a fire?

There is a notice on each floor of your building. Please make sure you know where the notice is and take a few moments to read it, as it will explain the procedure you should follow in the case of a fire.

What do I do if a fire breaks out in my flat?

If you are in the room where the fire is, leave straight away together with anybody else, then close the door. Don’t try to tackle the fire unless you have suitable training. Close the front door and leave the building, and then call the fire service.

If a fire breaks out elsewhere in the building, should I stay in my home or get out?

You should follow the procedure according to the notices in your development. For some of you the best course of action is to “stay put”. For others it is to leave the building as soon as possible. Each building has a specific procedure that is designed according to the design of the building and the provision of safety features, such as fire doors and emergency lighting.

Are smoke alarms regularly checked?

Smoke alarms in communal areas are our responsibility. These are sited and fitted according to the fire risk plan for your building and they are tested regularly.

Please check the smoke alarm fitted in your flat. If you have any doubts that it might not be working properly please contact us to have it checked.

Can I use the lift?

Please do not use the lift in the event of a fire. You may become trapped in a lift and if you use it the emergency rescue services cannot. If you have mobility issues either stay in your home (if your development advises you to “stay put”) or request help from a neighbour.

Fire extinguishers have been removed from our building. Why?

There may be no fire extinguishers in the communal areas of some buildings. If this is the case it will be based on a specific recommendation from the Fire Risk Assessment, carried out by our independent accredited Consultants.

The official guidance is that unless there are qualified fire marshals including both staff and residents that are trained on how to use fire extinguishers, the equipment should not be present and available to use. It is not a legal requirement to have fire extinguishers in this type of residential building.

Should we have sprinklers?

Current building regulations in England and Wales state that sprinklers are NOT required to be fitted to buildings constructed before 2007. This should be understood in the context that, historically, the country has successfully used a containment approach to fire safety, where building design and fire-doors combine to restrict the spread of fire. Your Housing Group does not have any high-rise buildings built after 2007 and our buildings and fire precautions are designed to prevent the spread of fire. This, coupled with current building regulations, mean we are not required to fit sprinklers.

Should I be able to escape through my window?

Building regulations and fire precautions are designed so that the need to escape through a window is avoided. In buildings built since 2002, or windows replaced after then, there is a requirement that a fire escape window is fitted to ground floor and first floor habitable rooms. So, if you live above a first floor or above 4.5 metres above ground level (whichever is lower), a fire escape window would NOT be fitted in any circumstances. Equally, if your building or window fitting is older than 2002, there is no requirement for a fire escape window to be fitted.

Should my building have a frequent fire test and inspection?

Every building with an internal communal area must have a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA). The FRA is specific to every building and is carried out by a qualified, accredited, independent fire safety assessor. Reviews of the assessment are carried out at a frequency determined by the FRA assessor. In some cases the review must take place every year. In other cases where there is a lower risk to safety it is every three years. In terms of inspection and testing, our Compliance and Facilities Team is responsible for weekly house-keeping checks and testing of fire precaution equipment, including alarms and fire doors. They are also responsible for keeping communal areas clear of items that could prove hazardous in the event of fire.

Should you have any concerns please speak to your Housing Manager or call Your Response on 0345 345 0272.