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Home safety

Fire safety in communal areas

Fire in a communal area could spread between homes. As building owners, we carry out regular fire risk assessments of all communal areas.

What do we mean by communal areas?

Communal areas are spaces in your building that other people share – like landings, entrance lobbies, corridors, meter cupboards, lifts, open walkways and balconies.

Keeping communal areas clear

Obstructions could make it more difficult for the emergency services to reach you and might prevent you from leaving the building in an emergency. If there is a fire in your building, there should be nothing in these areas that could:

  • Stop you leaving the building if instructed to do so by the emergency services
  • Prevent help reaching you or your neighbours
  • Give off toxic smoke or gas when burning
  • Explode in high temperatures
  • Cause fire to spread more quickly

If your home includes a balcony, you should never use this area to store gas barbecues or flammable items. We carry out periodic checks of balconies, for your own safety and that of your neighbours.

Gas appliances – your responsibilities

As a leaseholder, you are responsible for the gas appliances within your property such as the gas boiler, gas cooker, gas hob or gas fire, pipework and flues. All installation, maintenance and safety checks need to be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. Remember to ask to see the engineers Gas Safe Register ID card to confirm they are registered and able to carry out the necessary work. Please keep your documentation safe as we may also ask to see evidence that you have had a gas service.

In an emergency

Make sure you know what to do in a gas emergency and that you know how to turn off the gas supply. Recognising the signs of a gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning could save your life. Any one of the following could indicate that there is carbon monoxide in your home:

  • Yellow or orange flames on your gas cooker – they should be crisp and blue
  • Dark staining on or around appliances
  • Pilot lights that frequently blow out

If you think that carbon monoxide is present or if you have a carbon monoxide detector installed and the alarm sounds, get out into the fresh air. As soon as you are safe, call the 24 hour emergency gas service on 0800 111 999. If you smell gas, open your doors and windows, do not use any naked flame or electrical switches and turn off your gas supply.

Fire door checks

SARH inspectors are now safety-checking all fire doors in apartment blocks every six months. If your home is in one of these buildings, then please be aware that your doors – including the entrance to your apartment and any store doors – will be included in this programme. Even if you are responsible for your door under the terms of your lease, we will still check your door and let you know if any remedial work is required.

For further information on how you can help us keep you safe, please visit our dedicated website area.
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