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.
- Smoke alarms - why they are important and advice on installing them.
- FREE home fire safety check- A FREE check may be available to you.
- Chip-pan fires - how to avoid a disaster with hot oils.
- Your bed-time routine - things to do every night to help you sleep tight.
The complete selection of our advice notes can be found on the navigation menu to the right of this page.