Fire Safety

All registered housing providers are required to have policies in place to ensure that they minimise the risk of fire in their properties. Housing for Women is no different and this page provides a brief summary of our Fire Safety Policy and what it means for you.

 

Why we have a Fire Safety Policy

Our Fire Safety Policy helps Housing for Women ensure that we have adequate and appropriate fire safety measures in place to minimise the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a fire.

As a responsible employer and landlord, we have a duty of care to ensure that our buildings and facilities can be used safely and that we take all reasonable steps to mitigate any risks associated with fire in our properties.

Our Fire Safety Policy applies to our offices and all our properties including general needs blocks, refuges, supported housing and shared accommodation.

 

Responsibilities

Housing for Women is responsible for ensuring that all staff, customers and contractors can work and live in a safe way in our offices and homes. We, therefore, place specific duties upon our staff and our customers, to ensure fire safety.

 

Our responsibilities

All Housing for Women employees have a duty of care to themselves, their colleagues, residents and members of the public. If Housing for Women staff notice any situation that represents a serious fire risk, they are required to report this to their manager as soon as possible. 

Housing for Women staff must all familiarise themselves with our fire safety policy, attend training when required and use safe systems to prevent fire safety risks.

 

How you can help

As a Housing for Women resident, there are also certain duties placed upon you to ensure your safety and so that we can carry-out our relevant procedures to ensure fire safety within our residential buildings.

Your responsibilities include:

  • Giving Housing for Women staff and contractors access so that they can carry-out fire related maintenance and undertake fire risk assessments
  • Looking after doors and windows on escape routes so they can be easily and quickly opened in case of a fire. This includes keeping doors closed (unless they are doors designed to be held open on magnetic devices) and not wedging them open
  • Not smoking in communal areas and generally taking care when smoking
  • Keeping escape routes and communal areas clear by not storing belongings in communal areas and in particular keeping stairwells free of obstacles. This will ensure people can get out of the building quickly
  • Familiarise yourself with the escape plan for your building. If you are not sure of this please contact us
  • Take responsibility for compliance with the terms of their Lease or Tenancy Agreement
  • Ensure that security grilles across doors or windows are not fitted without explicit written permission (which will generally not be granted)
  • Ensure that no modifications are made to the property without explicit written permission (including replacement or removal of doors, plumbing or electrical installations)
  • Not interfere with fire safety specifically not to: remove fire doors or closers within their property, disconnect, remove batteries or otherwise interfere with smoke or heat detectors
  • Customers must be made aware of their obligations through regular communications and notices

 

Fire safety steps we take

  • Audits and Inspections – Housing for Women has a number of inspection and audit programmes which are designed to promptly identify and address fire hazards including estate inspections and audits.
  • Fire Risk Assessments (FRA’s) – A fire risk assessment is a method of identifying fire hazards so that appropriate measures can be taken to reduce the risk of them starting. We undertake these for all relevant properties and review these assessments on a periodic basis, depending on their individual risk level.
  • Asset Servicing & Repairs – Housing for Women will ensure the servicing and maintenance of all fire safety assets are undertaken by a competent contractor and in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Homes not owned by Housing for Women

If you live in a Housing for Women property where we are not the main landlord, and therefore do not have control of the communal parts of the building, we will refer any fire safety concerns you have to the relevant agent or organisation and take further action in the event these concerns are not addressed.

 

Housing for Women’s Fire Safety Policy

You can download Housing for Women’s full fire safety policy here.

 

Free home safety check and smoke alarms

Your local fire service provides free home safety checks and in many cases, this may include fitting a free smoke alarm. Fire Officers will also advise you about making your home safer.

To get a free safety visit from your local fire service, contact the London Fire Brigade on:

 

 

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