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Fire safety in communal areas

SARH works with residents to keep tenants and visitors safe in our buildings.

We take the safety of communal areas very seriously. A fire here could spread between homes. It could make it more difficult for the emergency services to reach you and might prevent you from leaving the building in an emergency.

What do we mean by communal areas?

Communal areas are places in your building that other people share. We’re referring to areas outside your front door: landings, entrance lobbies, corridors, meter cupboards, lifts, open walkways and balconies.

Keeping communal areas clear

Communal areas must be kept clear at all times. If a fire broke out in your building, there should be nothing in these areas that could:

  • Stop you escaping quickly
  • Prevent emergency services reaching you or your neighbours
  • Give off toxic smoke or gas when burning
  • Explode in high temperatures – such as non-safety glass in picture frames or ornaments
  • Cause fire to spread more quickly

If you live in a building that includes communal areas, you must ensure that nothing is kept or stored in these spaces.

Do you remove items kept in communal areas?

Your safety is our number one priority. We carry out regular fire risk assessments in blocks and other shared buildings.

If we find items which should not be kept in the communal area, we will leave a card asking you to remove the item.  We will re-inspect your communal area and any items that have not been removed may be disposed of by SARH.

Below are a few examples of items that are frequently found in communal areas.

Artificial plants Washing lines or racks
Door mats Footwear and shoe racks
Flammable liquids Ornaments and decorative objects
Pushchairs and prams Bicycles
Mopeds Motorbikes
Children’s toys Bookcases
Tables Mobility scooters

If we know who an item belongs to, we will let you know that it has been removed so that you can reclaim it within 14 days. If we are unable to identify the owner, removal and storage costs will be charged to all residents in your block.

For advice about fire safety in shared buildings

If you have any questions about staying fire-safe in shared buildings or you want more information about the disposal of items removed from communal areas, please call our customer services team on 0800 111 4554.