Managing fire safety in your home
Your safety is our highest priority. We do everything we reasonably can to help prevent fires and make sure you remain safe if there is a fire. There are also several things you can do to help avoid fires and stay safe in an emergency.
We have put together some helpful information to ensure you and your family know what to do, and how to escape, if there is a fire in your home.
We do everything we can to help prevent fires happening. 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. 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.
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.
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 work hard to help keep you safe in your home but you have an important role in keeping you, your family and your neighbours safe too.
Whilst we check smoke detector systems in communal areas, it is your responsibility to change the batteries in smoke alarms domestic areas i.e. in your own flat. If your smoke detector is beeping for no apparent reason, this may mean the batteries need replacing – do not ignore or disconnect the smoke detector, it could save your life.
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 email@example.com as soon as possible.
It is really important that you plan your escape route and make sure everyone in your household knows how to escape in an emergency. 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.
Keep exits clear of obstructions and flammable items so that you can escape quickly and easily in an emergency. You should never put any rubbish or unwanted belongings in corridors, under stairs or in any part of the building other than the dedicated bin areas. Doing this puts lives at risk.
Contact us if you see anyone leaving rubbish in common areas or if you need help removing bulky rubbish. We can ask the person who left the rubbish to remove it or help you to dispose of your rubbish.
Use this form to report a Fire Safety concern in you property/scheme
Why do we collect personal data of individuals?
This form is for customers and service users to raise a fire safety concern. We'll use this information to follow up these concerns.
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.
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.
If you have any questions or want more information, contact the Fire Risk Assessment Team at Midland Heart by emailing FRA.firstname.lastname@example.org.