Fire safety in shared areas
With the help of our tenants, we have written a Communal Area Fire Safety Policy. We all need to keep your shared spaces clear - and, with your help, we can reduce the risk of fire in halls, corridors and walkways. Here's how.
Why have we written this shared spaces policy?
We have seen an increase in items that are being left in these spaces. This is not acceptable and puts you at risk if there is a fire.
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 - otherwise the fire service may trip over your belongings and hurt themselves too.
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. The message of the policy is simple: keep your shared spaces clear.
What does it say?
The policy explains what communal areas are (spaces like walkways, corridors and staircases) and why you must not leave your personal possessions in these shared spaces.
This policy is also a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and it is enforceable by the fire service.
We want to avoid taking legal action. But we will do this if you continually ignore our requests to move your belongings from shared spaces.
This is how we will ask you to remove your items from a shared space:
- We will get in touch with you about the items
- We will give you 7 days to remove your items.
- After 7 days, we will take your items and give you a 'TORT' notice - this is a legal notice which informs you that you can be sued for damages if your lack of action harms others.
- We may charge you for the cost of our teams taking time out of their day to remove your items.
- If you don't collect your belongings within 28 days, we will dispose of them. We may then charge you for the disposal of these items.
Of course, any objects that pose an immediate risk will be removed immediately (e.g. fuels such as petrol, gas canisters/cylinders).
We will also work with you - such as referring you to organisations like Occupational Health - if there are legitimate reasons you are struggling to move your items.
We can issue injunctions and tenancy enforcement actions for failing to remove your items from communal areas.
For repeat offenders, we will consider taking you to court to stop you can leaving your items in a communal area. If we are successful in court, we will apply for the costs of the court case to be sent back to you.
The also Trust reserves the right to recharge the tenant or leaseholder for any of the costs of taking legal action or storing items.
Spotted a hazard in a communal area?
Report items in your communal area here, so we can make sure you're safe in the event of a fire.