At North Devon Homes we take the safety and welfare of customers as well as our legal responsibilities very seriously. As such, we have recently carried out an inspection of all our communal areas and updated our Fire Risk Assessments to ensure that our buildings are safe places in which to live and work.
The fire risk assessments identified some areas that can easily be addressed with your help and support. It highlighted the following issues in some locations:
- Fire doors being propped/wedged open
- Storage of waste/recycling in corridors and under stairs or up against buildings
- Designated storage cupboards full of waste materials and/or flammable/hazardous substances such as paint thinners
- Personal belongings being stored in corridors and causing obstruction/hazard such as push bikes, furniture, mobility scooters and cardboard
All shared areas, such as entrances, stairways and corridors should be kept clean and free from obstruction to ensure that in the event of a fire residents can make their way quickly, without incident to a place of safety.
Please be aware that during the week of the 21st June 2021 North Devon Homes staff will be inspecting areas and arranging for items to be removed and disposed of; please ensure that all items have been removed by this date, any items which remain after this date will be removed and the owner of the items recharged. Customers will receive a letter with this notice if they will be inspected during this time.
Fire Safety - Tips to protect you and your home from fire
How do we ensure your safety?
- Complete fire risk assessments in each individual block to identify the risk from fire
- Complete monthly health and fire safety block inspections to identify defects and housekeeping issues
- Install, test and maintain fire detection in tenanted properties
- Install adequate fire precautions in buildings to ensure we reduce the risk from fire as far as practicable
- Ensure fire doors, emergency lighting and other fire safety precautions we install in our buildings are tested and maintained
- Ensure communal areas of buildings are kept clear of combustible items such as personal belongings and waste
What information do we provide tenants on fire safety?
All tenants, when they sign their tenancy agreement, are given information about
- What action to take if there is a fire in your block
- The fire safety features of your home including the location of fire detectors and how to test them
- The importance of maintaining the flat entrance door (fire door) and reporting defects
I'm a leaseholder, how do I find information about fire safety in my home / building?
As part of the conveyancing process, buyers should request information on the property’s fire safety precautions from the seller such as the provision of fire detection, internal fire doors and the location of any secondary means of escape routes. Please ensure that North Devon Homes’ permission has been given for all alterations to the property, including for example, any replacement or alterations to doors that could be fire doors, and that all works conformed to the relevant statutory requirements, prior to purchase. It will be the current owner's liability to rectify substandard work. Fire Action notices detailing what action to take in the event of fire are displayed in the main entrance of all blocks.
How can residents help us manage fire safety?
- Please ensure that everyone in your household knows what action to take in the event of a fire in your home.
- Keep communal stairs and exit routes clear. Report any objects being stored in the communal areas as these can cause a fire. Gas bottles, motorbikes, mobility scooters, machinery, cardboard boxes and furniture for instance can fuel a fire.
- Be fire aware! Always report; holes in the ceilings and walls as fire could spread through these; trip hazards which could slow your exit; and faulty alarms and fire equipment.
- Never prop open doors in communal areas. These doors are designed to slow down the spread of fire. Some are held open by an electro-magnetic lock which will unlock automatically if a fire alarm is activated.
- Always respond promptly to fire alarms. Investigate the source of the fire if it is safe to do so, call 999 and leave the building as quickly as possible. Only assist others if you are not at risk.
- Tell us about any damage to any part of the flat entrance door, frame, glazing and letterbox
- Tell us if there is damage to any part of the building
- Know your plan - get out if the fire is in your home or stay put if the fire is in your block but not near you
Other things you can do to protect yourself and each other
- Test your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors weekly.
- If you would like to have a doormat outside your entrance door, please ensure its a purpose made door mat, it should be in good condition and not be a trip hazard.
- Allow our staff and contractors access to your property to test your detection equipment
Things to avoid
- Installation of additional locks or chains to either your front door or means of escape door as they could prevent you escaping a fire
- Do not make any alterations to your home without North Devon Homes' permission. You could affect the fire safety precautions within your home. This includes replacing your front door or installing cat flaps etc.
- Do not tamper with any fire precautions, such as fire doors in communal areas and if damage is observed report to us as soon as possible.
- Do not smoke in any common areas, it is strictly prohibited.
More information about fire safety
Further information on health and fire safety is included in our tenant handbook, newsletters and tenancy agreements.
Get a free home fire safety visit
Your local fire service may offer a free home fire safety check.
To request a free visit, you can call: 0800 05 02 999, email: [email protected] or log on to www.dsfire.gov.uk
For further information please contact http://helpforhoarders.co.uk