We take the issue of fire safety very seriously. Fortunately, the properties we own are generally low rise, with the exception of three blocks of flats, and none are clad with the material that was responsible for the spread of fire in the tragic events at Grenfell Tower. Even so, there are lots of things that we do to ensure the risk of fire remains low throughout our properties:
What we do
Fire risk assessments: We visit all our communal properties at least every five years and carry out a thorough check to ensure the risk of fire starting and spreading is low. We check outside, for risks such as fuel stored nearby or obstructed paths, and inside for signage, any areas that are cluttered or not adequately lit, and that all doors to flats can resist fire for at least 30 minutes. We even check loft spaces because fire can spread if they are not compartmentalised.
If you would like to see a copy of the fire risk assessment for your block please contact our Customer Services team and they will send it to you.
Regular checks: We carry out annual gas checks, including checking boilers are safe, fit smoke alarms in all our properties and check all electrics at least every ten years.
Build and manage our properties well: Our new properties conform to all the latest safety standards and our existing properties are well managed with the correct signage and regular checks in place so we can pick up and tackle any risks early on.
Fire action notice: All our communal blocks have clear information about what residents should do in the case of a fire.
What you should do
You can help to ensure that the risk of a fire in your home is low by following the advice given by Kent Fire and Rescue Service:
- Keep communal areas free of clutter and know what to do in the event of a fire.
- Keep any appointments we make to do a gas, electrics or other safety check.
- Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed on all levels of your home. It can give you the vital time you need to escape in a fire. Test them regularly and never remove batteries!
- Don’t overload sockets - ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off electrical items when they’re not in use, unless designed to be left on, like freezers.
- Never leave cooking unattended. Most fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Be sure to avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol. Always turn off kitchen appliances when you’ve finished cooking.
- Put your cigarette out - right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and take care when under the influence of alcohol or tired. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and start a fire.
- Always use a residual current device (RCD) on outdoor electrical equipment. This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault and can be found in any DIY store.
- Have any gas cooker or other appliances checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer and service them regularly.
- Close bedroom doors at night, should fire start this could buy you precious time from the effects of smoke.
- Make sure your family and any visitors staying know what to do in an emergency. Tell them where you keep door and window keys so they can escape if a fire starts.
- Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, cards and wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
Unless you live in accommodation with specific fire instructions, in the event of a fire – get out, stay out and call 999 and ask for the fire service.