In the event of a fire

get out, stay out

warn other occupants

and call 112


Did you know...?

  • A working smoke alarm could save you in a fire.
  • 35 people die each year because their smoke alarm is not working.
  • Most fires start when people are cooking.
  • Every 6 days someone dies in a home fire started by a cigarette.
  • Faulty electrics cause about 6,000 fires in the home each year.

Specific to Occupants in Flats and Maisonettes

  • Occupants of flats need to ensure their actions do not impinge on the fire safety of either themselves or others.
  • Stairwells are the means of escape from the building and it is imperative that nothing is stored in the stairwell that can either prevent easy escape or be a source of fuel for any fire.
  • Prams, bikes, toys and shoes need to be stored elsewhere in the building and not in the stairwell.
  • In the event of a fire and whilst evacuating a building, it is important to raise the alarm to fellow occupants, where doing so does not impact on your personal safety.
  • In the hours of darkness and in the event of a power failure there should be sufficient aids in the form of emergency lighting and/or reflective signage to enable you to make your way out of the building.
  • The attic spaces and cellar areas must not be used as sleeping accommodation or utilised as living areas.

Specific to Occupants in Houses

  • Occupants of houses need to ensure their actions do not impinge on the fire safety of either themselves or others.
  • The attic spaces and cellar areas must not be used as sleeping accommodation or utilised as living areas.
  • The boiler room should not be misappropriated and used as a storage area. The operation of the boiler means it needs ventilation air for cooling and air for combustion purposes. Utilisation of this area for storage not only prejudices the operation of the boiler but also impacts on accessibility for maintenance.
  • The inlet air grille to the boiler room should not be obstructed in anyway. This grille should be labelled. If it is not or you are not sure where the boiler ventilation grille is, contact Babcock who will arrange for someone to visit to inspect the boiler room and identify the grille for you.

Smoke Alarms

Check your smoke alarms work - Test your smoke alarm every month!

Each month, press the button on your smoke alarms to check they still work. If you press the button and there is no sound, call Babcock helpdesk on 0800 888 4242 and report it as a fault. If your smoke alarm goes off by mistake, do not take out the batteries. Just wait for it to stop.

The removal of a smoke alarms from their positions in SFA is strictly forbidden. However, If the smoke alarm starts making a slow beepbeepbeepbeep sound continuously, report it to the Babcock helpdesk on 0800 888 4242 as a fault.

ONLY in this situation, the smoke alarm head can be removed.

The faulty smoke alarm head is to be handed to the Babcock Engineer when they arrive to the SFA.

In the Kitchen

  • Keep children out of the kitchen when you are cooking. They may knock over a pan and get hurt.
  • Don't leave tea towels or washing over the cooker to dry.
  • Always have a space around your cooker clear from combustible materials.
  • Don't allow the flex from any electrical equipment drag over the cooker.
  • Ensure saucepan handles do not face outwards into the kitchen or over lighted burners or hotplates.
  • Stay in the kitchen if you are cooking with oil/fat. Oil/fat can set on fire easily. If the fat gets too hot and starts to smoke, turn off the cooker and leave it to cool. Never put water onto hot fat.

Gas Appliance Safety

Smell Gas - Report it - If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak or are worried that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance report it immediately, call the Emergency hotline on 112 and the Babcock Helpdesk on 0800 888 4242

  • If you smell gas you should open all doors and windows.
  • High concentrations of gas in rooms can be explosive so the faster you can reduce those concentrations the better.
  • Don’t switch anything on or off and don’t unplug anything.
  • It is advisable to make yourself familiar with the location of the gas isolation valve which will be located near your gas meter. In normal operation the valve handle (yellow handle) should be in line with the gas pipe. To isolate the gas supply and where it is safe to do so – you can operate the valve which will turn through 90 degrees so that the handle is at right angles to the gas supply pipe.
  • You must not turn any electrical light on or off as this might create a spark.

If in any doubt – get out and phone for help.

Plug Safety

  • Do not use UK to European plug adapters. Have your UK plugs changed to European plugs by a qualified electrician.
  • If you put too many plugs in 1 socket it can start a fire. One plug in each socket is best.
  • This is very important for things that use a lot of electricity. For example, washing machines and electric fires.
  • Be wary of non-genuine phone chargers. Test have shown they fail basic safety checks and are pose a fire risk.
  • Check for hot plugs or plugs with dark marks. Check for wires that are loose or broken.

If you find any take the plugs out of the socket and get them looked at by an electrician.

Think about how to get out safely

A smoke alarm will warn you about a fire. Make sure you have a plan if your smoke alarm goes off. These pages tell you how to make a plan.

Make a plan to get out fast

If your smoke alarm goes off, you must get out fast. Make a plan for getting out. Tell your family about it. Everyone should know where the keys are.

Keep things away from doors and windows.

Get out - Stay out - Phone 112 and ask for fire and rescue. Be ready to tell them where you live. Do not try to put out a fire yourself.

What if you cannot get out

If you cannot get out of the house, go into one room. Then phone 112 and say which room you are in. The fire and rescue service will tell you what to do and they will get there as fast as they can.

Remember smoke is as deadly as flames - close the door and block any other opening with bedding etc. If the room becomes smoky, stay low. It is easier to breath.

What to do if you are high up

If you live in a flat or maisonette. In the event of a fire and whilst evacuating the building, it is important to raise the alarm to fellow occupants. Shout "FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!" repeatedly to raise the alarm. If you can, go down the stairs and once safe call the Fire Brigade on 112.

Bed Time Checks

  • Close all the inside doors.
  • Closed doors slow down a fire.
  • Unplug things that use electricity. But not things like fridges and freezers.
  • Check the cooker is off.
  • Do not leave the washer on at night.
  • Turn off heaters.
  • Put a fire-guard around the fire place.
  • Check the doors to the outside are clear. Put keys where everyone can find them.
  • Put candles and cigarettes out properly.

Additional Advice

  • To prevent fire and smoke spreading at night, close all doors before going to bed. In blocks of flats and maisonettes, keep the doors onto the staircase closed at all times.
  • Do not keep large amounts of newspapers, polishes, rags, etc. stacked away in cupboards or cellars.
  • Never tamper with electric circuits or fuses; call in a qualified electrician.
  • Do not run electric flex or cable under carpets or floor coverings where they will become chafed or damaged.
  • Keep aerosol type containers away from heat; do not puncture them or attempt to burn them.
  • Never attempt to light a BBQ with any liquid fuels other than those specified for such purpose. The use of petrol is extremely dangerous and should not under any circumstances be used.
  • Always ensure that the BBQ is on sturdy ground and positioned at least 2 meters away from any building/footpath.
  • Always ensure that the charcoal used on the BBQ is fully extinguished before disposing of it.
  • BBQ fuel and tyres are not to be stored in cellars.


For further fire safety information contact your local Fire and Rescue Service (not 112).