Fire safety in shared areas

With the help of tenants, we have written a Communal Area Fire Safety Policy. It states how we all need to keep your shared spaces clear. With your help we can reduce the risk of fire in halls, corridors and walkways. Here's how.

We have been working on the ways that we can improve fire safety in shared spaces.

As part of this, we have rewritten our policy for these ‘communal areas’.

Why have we done this?

  • We have seen an increase in items that are being left in these spaces.

  • In an emergency, residents need to be able to leave the building without tripping over anything or injuring themselves.

  • Clear communal areas provide a safe route for the fire service if they need to visit and put out a fire. 

How have we done this?

We have spoken to our involved customers about how we can improve our policy and we have rewritten it to make it very clear about what we will do to keep everyone safe.

What does it say?

The policy explains what communal areas are and why it is important that these remain clear of your personal possessions.

(It is also a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and is enforceable by the fire service.)

We want to avoid taking legal action. But we need to find a way for everyone in your block to live safely together. 

  • We will talk to you to find the best solution. We will take into account your individual circumstances and, if appropriate, will refer you to our partner organisations (e.g. occupational therapists and social services).
  • We might need to take enforcement actions if a customer's behaviour doesn't change or if they ignore our verbal and written warnings. 
  • Our Estates Team carry out weekly and monthly inspections of communal areas. Where the standard of housekeeping falls below expected standards the team will talk to residents to see if the issues can be resolved. Or they will serve a 7-day notice for removal.
  • After 7 days a tort notice will be issued and the goods photographed and removed. If the items are not collected within 28 days then we will dispose of them.
  • Of course, any objects that pose an immediate risk will be removed immediately (e.g. fuels such as petrol, gas canisters/cylinders).

  • If necessary we can issue injunctions or tenancy enforcement actions.
  • When removing an item we will serve you a tort notice*. You will have 28 days to collect the item before the Trust disposes of it permanently.
  • In the cases of persistent offenders, the Trust will consider court action to stop future occurrences. If the outcome is successful we will apply for costs to be made. 
  • The Trust reserves the right to recharge the tenant or leaseholder for any of the costs of taking legal action or storing items. 

(*A tort is something that an individual does, or fails to do, that harms someone else and for which they can be sued for damages.)

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