Fire safety in apartment buildings is crucial. Most fires in these buildings originate within individual apartments. Whether you're a resident or someone responsible for an apartment building, it's essential to be informed about preventing fires and ensuring everyone's safety.
Landlords, owners, or managing agents must adhere to fire safety and housing laws.
Responsibilities include risk assessment, implementing fire safety measures, and educating residents about fire procedures.
The "Fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats" guide assists in understanding and complying with the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Download the guide here.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, effective from 23rd January 2023, aims to enhance fire safety in apartment buildings. This regulation is based on recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry's Phase 1 report. Learn more about the regulations here.
While landlords ensure safety in communal areas, residents play a pivotal role in fire prevention:
Familiarise yourself with fire safety procedures.
Blocking communal areas, often used as escape routes.
Keeping fire doors open.
Cluttering areas with flammable items.
Storing items like prams or bikes without permission.
Keeping flammable materials near electrical circuits.
Report or remove misplaced items in communal areas.
Dispose of rubbish correctly and ensure your front door closes automatically.
Report any issues and defects to property managers, no matter how minor they may seem to you.
In Case of Fire
Inside Your Apartment:
Exit immediately without investigating or collecting valuables.
Close doors behind you, especially your apartment door, to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.
Inside the Building:
Dial 999 right away.
Apartment buildings are designed to resist fire for 30 to 60 minutes. If unaffected by fire or smoke, it might be safer to stay inside, but only if confirmed by your landlord.
Inform the 999 operator about your location and the best way to reach you.
Planning Your Escape
Having an escape plan is vital. Understand how to evacuate both your apartment and the building. If you or someone you live with might struggle during an emergency, schedule a free home safety visit with your local fire and rescue service.
Fire safety in apartment buildings is a shared responsibility. By understanding our roles and being proactive, we can ensure a safer living environment for everyone.
For further information, guidance and advice, please visit Fire England's website: https://fireengland.uk/fire-safety/fire-safety-blocks-flats.