Most house fires start in the kitchen. From faulty appliances, to taking your eye off the cooking for just a minute, fires can start and take hold of your kitchen in seconds.

Here are some things you can do to reduce these risks:

  1. Regularly check your appliances, if something isn’t working as it should be, stop using it immediately and get it looked at by an expert.
  2. Cooking – don’t leave your cooking unattended, this is one of the main causes of home fires and it can only take seconds for a fire to start.
  3. Make sure your fire alarms are working – this can give you the vital warning you need to keep you and your family safe, if it starts beeping for no apparent reason, this may mean the batteries need replacing.
  4. Escape – make sure everyone in your home knows how to escape if there’s a fire and make sure there aren’t things blocking you, every second counts when there’s a fire. The best route is the normal way in and out of your home but you may need to have a second escape route planned in case the first is blocked. If you live in a flat with common areas, you will have a fire door fitted. Make sure it closes properly, keep it closed when not in use and never wedge it open. If your fire door doesn’t close properly, contact the Repairs Hub at hubrepairs@midlandheart.org.uk as soon as possible.
  5. Report a concern – if you spot something that might be a fire risk, report it to us so we can look into it immediately, keeping you, your family and your neighbours safe.

Fire safety checks

All of our properties are fire safety checked before we let them. This includes testing the electrical wiring and ensuring all doors and means of escape are working.

Smoke alarms

A smoke alarm system is provided in all flats in converted blocks and our new build properties are fitted with smoke alarms as per building regulations at the time that they are built. Other properties have smoke alarms installed during upgrades or when they are empty. 

Fire Risk Assessments

In blocks of flats, we make sure that communal areas and general building facilities are well maintained. A specialist team of Fire Risk Assessors make sure that your building meets fire safety standards and is as safe as possible in the event of a fire.

This is called a Fire Risk Assessment and all Midland Heart blocks of flats with communal areas have one. Our assessors are accredited by West Midlands Fire Service.

Other safety measures

The Rangers service also has an important role. They check fire alarms and emergency lighting in communal areas on a regular basis and make sure all fire escape routes are free from obstructions so that you can escape in an emergency.

Our specialist contractors service fire alarms and lifesaving systems regularly too. In individual homes, gas servicing contractors test batteries in smoke and heat detectors as part of the gas service.

We’ve teamed up with West Midlands Fire Service to provide free Safe and Well checks to help you feel safe in your home.  

We’re offering checks to all our existing and new customers living in the West Midlands who we identify as being at higher risk from fire in your home because of your health, vulnerability or lifestyle choices.

From September 2020 trained fire service staff will visit you in your own home to give expert advice tailored to your personal circumstances, lifestyle and the type of property you live in.

This advice will include simple free-of-charge steps you could take to reduce your fire risk and potentially save your own and your family’s lives.

 

How do I sign up?

If you’re a current customer identified as being at higher risk we’ll send a text to your mobile phone asking if you consent to a Safe and Well visit by the fire service.

If you’re not yet a customer, you’ll be asked to give consent as part of the process of becoming our tenant – if you are identified as being at higher risk from fire in your home.

You may be at higher risk from fire in your home because you have:

  • sight or hearing difficulties
  • a long-term illness
  • a medical condition that requires oxygen at home
  • a disability and/or mobility difficulties
  • learning difficulties
  • sensory disability
  • mental health issues
  • alcohol or drug dependency

Other factors may also increase your fire risk such as smoking.

As a social housing landlord we aren’t legally required to offer Safe and Well checks but we believe it’s the right thing to do to help protect our more vulnerable customers and make them feel safer in their homes.

How do I report a fire safety concern?

It's really simple to report a Fire Safety concern in your property/scheme. All you need to do is fill out the form below: