Reducing fire risk

Reducing fire risk, what to do if there is a fire.

By taking a few sensible precautions, you can reduce the risk of fire in your home. 

How to reduce the risk of fire in your home 

In your block

Keep escape routes clear. Don't leave large items such as furniture, prams or bikes in communal areas, shared balconies or corridors.

Don't wedge self-closing doors open. These doors are normally fire-resistant. They help to stop fire and smoke spreading, but only when they are closed.

In your home

Do not leave candles unattended - make sure they are in an appropriate candle holder and don't place them near curtains.

Before emptying ashtrays make sure the contents are cold.

Always keep open fires, electric, gas or portable heaters guarded.

Don't smoke in a chair if you think you might fall asleep and never smoke in bed.

Keep doors closed in your flat when you go to bed - if a fire does start, this will help it stop spreading.

Unplug any electrical appliances you're not using - especially at night.

Don't leave cooking unattended - especially when your cooking with hot oil or fat.

Avoid the use of paraffin heaters - if you have one make sure it meets the British Safety Regulation BS3300 and that it has a British Standard Institute kitemark.

In your balcony

If you have a balcony in your home, please ensure that:   

  • you do not use a BBQ on the balcony
  • combustibles and flammable liquids e.g. gas cylinders, kerosene and fuel are not stored on balconies
  • everyone in your household knows where the nearest fire exits are located
  • everyone in your household knows the fire escape plan for your building (This should be on display in one of the communal areas.)
  • if you notice anything that may be a fire risk, it is reported to 020 8489 5611
  • you call 999 in the event of an emergency

Hazardous materials

Don't store gas, petrol or bottled gas or any flammable materials at home, in the block or garage. They can easily catch fire and can be very dangerous.

Smoke alarms

Having smoke alarms fitted in your home can help save your home and the lives of you and your family. You can buy them in most hardware shops or major supermarkets.

Don't just fit a smoke alarm in your hall and landing – also fit them in any room such as the kitchen and bedrooms where a fire can start. For example, any room where you smoke or leave appliances plugged in. Make sure you test them every month to ensure they don't run out of battery. 

Read more about smoke alarms from London Fire Brigade.

Fire brigade home fire safety visits

London Fire Brigade offers free home fire safety visits giving personal fire safety advice and fitting free smoke alarms. Contact them for a free visit:

Request a home fire safety visit from the London Fire Brigade online.

What to do if there is a fire

Make sure you have a plan to escape your home in the event of a fire. See the London Fire Brigade website for more information.

Further information

For more information about fire safety at home visit the London Fire Brigade's fire safety at home pages.