Fire safety advice

Most domestic fires can be prevented by taking precautions.

Prevent a fire

You can keep your home safe from fire by:

  • testing your smoke and heat detectors regularly by pressing the button until the alarm sounds
  • never removing batteries, tampering with or disconnecting your smoke alarms
  • ensuring furniture and soft furnishings in your home meet fire safety regulations
  • not leaving cooking unattended, always turn the cooker off when finished and do not hang items from cookers such as tea towels
  • keeping your hob, oven and grill clean and free of any fat and grease build up by wiping down after cooking
  • not overloading electric sockets including the use of appliances with damaged cables, flexes or linking extension leads together
  • never leaving candles or burners unattended, near open windows or fabric such as curtains
  • always ensuring cigarettes are extinguished properly and never smoke in bed
  • turning appliances off at night and closing internal doors which will help stop fire spreading
  • keeping your home free of clutter keeping all potential exit routes clear
  • planning your escape including your exit route and a back up exit where possible
  • leaving door and window keys where everyone can find them in an emergency 

The Government also provides further fire safety advice.

Clear communal areas

You need to ensure that all communal areas are kept clear of any items at all times. This relates to areas such as stairways and landings and includes:

  • bicycles
  • doormats
  • prams
  • pushchairs
  • plants
  • old furniture
  • any other items
  • mobility scooters

Mobility scooters have a poor safety record and have been the cause of many serious fires. If you place any items in a communal area you will be asked to remove them as this causes blockages and obstructions which could delay emergency exit by residents or entry by the emergency services.


If the fire is within your property you need to:

  • keep calm and act quickly
  • get everyone out as quickly as possible
  • call 999
  • not tackle the fire yourself
  • not try retrieving your possessions or valuables

If you can't get out, get everyone into one room and put damp towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to stop smoke getting in. Open the window and shout for help. If there is smoke, keep to where the air is clearer.

If the fire is not in your property, you should stay put until help arrives. Flats are fitted with a fire door that will prevent fire and smoke from getting in.

Last updated 11 April 2023