Connect Housing takes fire safety very seriously and we ensure all our properties conform with rigorous fire safety standards.
We carry out fire risk assessments and work with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to comply with all safety requirements. We undertake regular fire safety inspections of all communal areas, ensuring all shared fire detection and emergency systems are serviced and tested and any obstructions in the areas removed.
- Test the system regularly, and check that fire doors are closing and exit routes are clear.
- Visit twice a year to service and maintain all the equipment.
- Arrange a convenient time with every tenant to gain access to their property to service the fire detection equipment.
- Respond to fire alarm repairs within 24 hours.
- Carry out Fire Risk Assessments at least every two years.
- Give advice to tenants regarding fire safety. If requested, we will also show tenants how to use the fire alarm panel.
The advice to ‘stay put’ and wait for rescue is standard practice for large blocks of purpose built flats, as lots of people moving around the building can help smoke to spread and can cause panic as people try and exit the building down narrow staircases.
Connect doesn’t have any large tower blocks and our flats are on a much smaller scale which means that adopting an evacuation policy is more realistic. In the event of a fire, tenants are advised to activate the fire alarm and exit the building as quickly as possible. We keep this policy under regular review. One of our schemes has the ‘stay put’ advice in place due to the frailty of residents.
Obstructions in communal areas
It is crucial that shared stairwells and landings are kept clear of all furnishings, stored items or other articles which could get in the way of people leaving the building (especially if visibility is reduced, as might be the case in a fire). We will ask you to remove anything that you may have placed outside your flat and we reserve the right to remove without warning anything we consider to be a hazard.
Customers sometimes ask why we no longer provide fire-fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers in communal areas. The advice we have been given is that fire extinguishers in untrained hands can be ineffective, delay your escape, and in some circumstances can make the situation worse. We do provide fire blankets in individual kitchens – if you haven’t got one and would like one, please call us on 0300 5000 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all know that false alarms are annoying and too many of these will bring their own dangers, as people naturally tend to start to disbelieve that the alarm could signal a real fire. At Connect we recognise the problems regular false alarms cause, and regularly invest in improving alarm systems so that they provide an appropriate balance of sensitivity to real fire hazards and resilience to false ones. Please do not ignore the alarm sounding – evacuate the building until you know there is no fire.
Access for inspections
Connect Housing also carries out gas safety inspections and electrical inspections, and relies on the co-operation of tenants to give access to ensure that these vital safety inspections can take place.
Get in touch
If you have any specific concerns about your home, please get in touch with us on 0300 5000 600 or email email@example.com. If you’d like further advice on fire safety matters please visit West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s website: www.westyorksfire.gov.uk/your-safety