Rented accommodation

photo of person leaving through a fire door exit

If you live in a flat or bed-sit, you are more at risk from fire than if you live in an individual, single family, house.  This is mainly because a greater number of people with a broader range of lifestyles occupy your immediate surroundings.  However, it is because of this that blocks of dwellings must be built with safe escape routes protected by fire-resisting walls and fire doors.  This helps to give all occupants time to exit their homes to safety.

A fire door can only work when it is shut - never wedge one open, even for a moment.

This page contains advice that is applicable to everyone who lives in a flat, bed-sit or house.

Preparation and Prevention

Preparing yourself for an emergency

  • Keep escape routes free from obstructions and storage.
  • Make sure all members of your household know the following:
  • Where escape routes and exits are
  • How to get out of the house in the event of fire
  • How the fire alarm works
  • How to call for the Fire Service.
  • Also, never wedge open fire doors or remove door-closing devices, a fire door can only protect you if it is kept closed.

Prevention inside your flat

  • Fit a smoke alarm that has the Kite mark and conforms to British Standard Number 5446 (Part 1).  Test the smoke alarm at least once a month by pressing the test button and know the life of your battery.
  • Keep lighters and matches away from children.
  • Electricity and gas fires should have a suitable fire-guard and all furniture and furnishings should be kept well away.
  • Avoid using portable gas or paraffin heaters - they may not be permitted by the landlord.

What to do if a fire occurs?

If you are not trapped by fire:

  • Sound the alarm
  • Exit the building as quickly as possible, closing all doors behind you
  • Telephone the fire service from a place of safety
  • Do not go back in for any reason.

If you are trapped in your room:

  • Close the door and use bedding, clothing or soft furnishings to block any gaps that might let smoke or fumes in
  • Shout help from the window so that neighbours can hear and the fire service can see and hear you when they arrive.

Further information

The complete selection of our advice notes can be found on the navigation menu to the right of this page.