If you live in a single property, you can follow these simple steps to help keep you and your family safe;
- Keep all exits in your home clear so that everyone can escape in the event of a fire. Mark sure that door and window keys are easy to find
- Don’t wedge open self-closing doors. They should be kept closed to prevent fire and smoke spreading
- Decide on the easiest way out of your home and make sure everyone knows how to escape if there is a fire. Before you open any internal doors, check that the door and handle with your hand. Never open the door if it feels warm, as there may be a fire on the other side
- Test your smoke alarms weekly
- Switch off and unplug electrical equipment before you go to bed, unless the appliance is designed to be left on, like a fridge
- Don’t overload electrical sockets
- Check that plugs, leads and electrical equipment are safe and well-maintained. If you notice damaged, hot or scorched plugs or sockets, inform RHA immediately and we’ll arrange for a qualified electrician to visit your home
Flats, sheltered housing and accommodation with communal areas
If you love in a flat or sheltered housing scheme with a communal area the fire alarms are tested, serviced and maintained regularly by a competent person and we carry out regular fire risk assessments of the shared areas of all of our properties. The buildings are designed with fire safety in mind and as such, in order to maintain this level of safety you should follow these steps to keep you and your neighbours’ safe;
- Do not wedge open self-closing doors – either in your own property or in the communal area. These doors are designed to stop the spread of smoke and fire.
- Do not keep items of furniture or decoration in the communal areas. These areas are required to be ‘sterile’ so that, in the event of smoke and fire, the communal areas are clear for a safe evacuation (if a full evacuation policy is in place for your block).
- Keep all exits in your home and the communal areas clear for ease of access/egress in the event of fire
- Know the quickest and safest way for you to evacuate your home if required (and if there is a full evacuation policy in place for your block – see below for more details on this). Before you open any internal doors, check that the door and handle with your hand. Never open the door if it feels warm, as there may be a fire on the other side
- Test the smoke alarm in your own property weekly
- Switch off and unplug electrical equipment in your own property before you go to bed, unless the appliance is designed to be left on, like a fridge
- Don’t overload electrical sockets and ensure electrical sockets found in communal areas aren’t overloaded
- Check that plugs, leads and electrical equipment in your own property and in communal areas are safe and well-maintained. If you notice damaged, hot or scorched plugs or sockets, inform RHA immediately and we’ll arrange for a qualified electrician to visit
Evacuate or stay put?
The principle for the ‘stay put’ policy is that: when a fire occurs within one dwelling (or, less likely, a common part), it is normally safe for the other residents to remain within their own flat.
A stay put policy involves the following approach:
- When a fire occurs within a flat, the occupants alert others in the flat, make their way out of the building and summon the fire and rescue service.
- If a fire starts in the common parts, anyone in these areas makes their way out of the building and summons the fire and rescue service.
- All other residents not directly affected by the fire would be expected to stay put and remain in their flat unless directed to leave by the fire and rescue service.
RHA has implemented the stay put policy at four blocks:
- 93-95 Taff Street
- 7-10 Morgan Street
- 17,19,21,23&25 Ffordd y Gwaith Glo.
- 10,12,14,16&18 Ffordd y Gwaith Glo
Where a stay put policy has been introduced, this will be communicated clearly with the residents at sign up via the Neighbourhood Officers, to ensure they comply with this advice in the event of an emergency.
Full Evacuation Policy
For all other buildings a full emergency evacuation plan has been established and communicated to all tenants and occupants of those buildings. The purpose of an emergency plan is to ensure that all the occupants in the premises know what to do in the event of a fire and to escape from the building safely. The emergency plan for each block has been communicated to tenants and a poster with the details can be found in the communal areas for each block.
What should I do if a fire breaks out in my block or home?
- Treat it seriously; don’t assume it is a false alarm
- Every flat is fitted with fire-resistant doors, so any fire can be contained for at least 30 minutes, which is enough time for the fire service to be called and arrive at the building.
If you live in a house or flat and there is a fire in your own home
- Warn everyone living with you and get them out. Close the door behind you. Warn your immediate neighbours if it is safe to do so
- Leave the building using the staircase – don’t use the lift
- Find a safe place and dial 999
If there is a fire outside your home in a communal area such as a corridor
- It is usually safer to stay where you are until you can be evacuated. Block the bottom of doorways with blankets or coats to keep smoke out, stay low and get to a window, either opening it or breaking it if it won’t open
- Keep the door shut and dial 999 if you have a phone
- If smoke or flames enter your home, leave at once and close the door behind you.
If you have any concerns about your ability, or the ability of someone you know, to safely evacuate your home – such as a mobility or sensory impairment – please contact your Neighbourhood Officer on 01443 424 200, who will arrange for someone to complete a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan with you.
Calling the fire service:
- Dial 999 and ask for the fire service
- Give the phone number you are calling from and your full address
- Tell the fire service where the fire is, for example in the kitchen
- Tell them if anyone is trapped
- If you live in a flat, tell them which floor the fire is on.
- Don’t hang up until the fire service has told you to, and don’t try to go back into your home.
If you would like more information on fire safety in your home, please visit the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service website https://www.southwales-fire.gov.uk/en-GB/your-safety-wellbeing/at-home/ – you’ll find more hints and tips on staying safe at home as well as a request form for a Safe and Well visit carried out by the Fire Service.
To report a fire safety concern to us, please call 01443 424 200