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    Fire safety

    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

    Watch this short video about how to reduce the risk of fire happening in your home.

    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.

    Top fire safety tips

    • 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.

    Mobility scooter, e-bike and e-scooter safety

    When charging your mobility scooter, e-bike or e-scooter, it is important to:

    • Remember you are not permitted to store or charge mobility scooters, e-bikes and e-scooters in communal areas as any items left there can block emergency exit routes and create a fire risk. This includes mobility storage facilities.
    • Never block the escape route within your property with anything, including mobility scooters, e-bikes or e-scooters. Store them somewhere away from a main escape route.
    • Always use the correct charger for the product and buy an official one from a reputable seller.
    • Batteries can get warm during their use, and it is advisable to allow them to cool down before attempting to re-charge as they could be more likely to fail.
    • Batteries should always be charged on hard surfaces where heat can disappear.
    • Batteries can pose a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure they are not knocked while in use or when being carried as spares.
    • Always make sure you unplug your charger once it is finished charging. Do not over charge the battery and follow manufacturers’ instructions.
    • Ensure you have a working smoke alarm where you charge your mobility scooter, e-bike or e-scooter.
    • Charge batteries whilst you are awake and alert. Do not charge batteries overnight while you are asleep or away from home.
    • Do not charge batteries or store your mobility scooter, e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials.

    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.

    Please make sure you don't leave any personal items in communal areas, to ensure the fire escape routes are always clear. We'll remove any items we find and will usually charge a fee to return them.

    For information and useful videos on home and fire safety visit Kent Fire and Rescue Service or speak to one of their home safety advisers on freephone 0800 923 7000.