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Fire Safety

Our Responsibility

CHS is responsible for ensuring that the properties meet fire safety standards. We also need to keep our customers informed of what to do in an emergency, including providing evacuation plans. Where CHS are responsible for fire safety equipment and services, such as electric and gas, we must also carry out mandatory safety checks.

Your Responsibility

You are responsible for ensuring that you don’t create a fire hazard in your home, for example by storing flammable items on your balcony, or by blocking fire escape routes; and to be aware of fire safety measures, including the evacuation plan for your building.

Important information

Have you planned for an emergency?
  • Know your escape route and keep it clear. Ensure keys are available for locked windows and doors. Close doors at night and turn off equipment.
  • Check you have a working smoke alarm by testing it at least once a month. Report damaged or missing smoke alarms to us.
  • Avoid risk when cooking by keeping the area clear. Ensure children are supervised when cooking.
  • Don’t overload electrical sockets or use equipment that is not safe. Make sure your equipment has the right safety certification and that it is being used as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Dispose of cigarettes and candles safely. Avoid naked flames where possible and never leave them unattended.
  • In the event of a fire call 999.

Further home safety advice is also available online at

Blocks of Flats

CHS carry out regular fire risk assessments to identify fire safety concerns and complete improvement works to address them.

We have other safety measures in place appropriate to the type of block concerned, which include checking emergency lighting and fire safety equipment in communal areas.

Fire Action Notices are provided in each building on what to do in the event of a fire and we ask customers to familiarise themselves with this and the directions given.

Stay Put Guidance

The stay-put guidance says you can choose to stay put unless your flat is being directly affected by fire or smoke or you are instructed to evacuate by the fire service e.g. through 999 call.

This does not mean stay put in any and all circumstances. You stay as long as you think it is safe or are instructed by the fire service. The golden rule is that wherever you are, if you can see or smell smoke or fire, you get out and stay out.

What to do in the event of a fire:

  • If there is a fire in your flat, you get out, close the door after you, stay out, and contact the fire service.
  • If you are in a communal area and you think there is a fire, get out and stay out.
  • If you are in your flat and believe that there is a fire elsewhere in the building, contact the fire service and await their instructions and arrival.
  • If you feel unsafe for any reason, the fire service may advise you to make your way to the fire escape, closing doors behind you and leave the building.
  • In the event of a fire, do not use the lift.
  • Familiarise yourself with the fire safety advice for the building that is posted in the communal areas.
Communal Areas

No materials should be stored in communal areas. This means customers are not permitted to keep any personal items in communal areas including hallways, stairwells and landings.

CHS will undertake regular inspections to ensure communal areas are kept clear and free from items that may hinder anyone getting in and out of the block in the event of an emergency.

It is important that electric bikes, scooters and their batteries are not stored or charged within the communal areas to avoid a risk of a fire starting and putting families and homes at risk.

Balconies and Outside Fires

Please make sure that you stay safe. Outside fires can be devastating and it is important to avoid them by:

  • Never using a BBQ on the balcony.
  • Avoiding naked flames, such as candles or tealights.
  • Extinguish cigarettes safely.
  • Do not have electrical goods on the balcony.
  • Do not store flammable items or rubbish in outdoor spaces.
Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs)

These checks are carried out either annually or biennially on blocks with communal areas, depending on the type of the building and the level of risk the assessor places on it. They are also subject to review following an incident, a change in legislation or alteration to the building.

FRAs identify potential fire risks found at the time the assessment was carried out. They also identify the measures that should be taken to minimise or remove that risk. An FRA looks at:

  • Exit routes
  • Structural measures in place to stop or slow down the spread of a fire
  • Whether there is anything inside the building that could start, accelerate, or spread a fire

If you are concerned by or would like to discuss the latest FRA for your building, please contact our surveying team on 0300 1113555 and they will be happy to answer any questions or comments.

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs)

If you live in supported housing and cannot leave your home unaided in an emergency, then you will need a PEEP. A PEEP may be needed if you have an impairment or disability such as:

  • Mobility impairment
  • Sight impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Temporary impairment e.g., broken leg
  • A medical condition or injury which might cause them to need assistance to evacuate safely.

You should contact your Housing Manager to discuss the implementation of a PEEP. Contact us on 0300 1113555 if you are unsure who this is.

To help the fire service with the evacuation of the building, we may provide them with basic information about anyone who tells us that they need assistance. This basic information will be stored in a secure area to protect our customers data.

Anyone can complete an online home safety check (link to HFSC ( Depending on the outcome of your online survey, the fire service may ask to complete a home safety visit to discuss how to live safely in your home.

Customers may be eligible for adaptations or equipment to support them with evacuating the building. More information about adaptations can be found in CHS’ Tenancy Handbook.

Fire Doors – Dos and Don’ts

Please do not:

  • Wedge fire doors open
  • Let anyone tamper with the door closing mechanism
  • Let anyone tamper with the door or frame e.g., drilling holes into it

Please do:

  • Report any damage to your own or a communal fire door
  • Report any vandalism that you may witness
  • Check that your door and the communal doors close properly



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