Fire safety update 2023

At S4B, the safety of our customers will always be our number one priority. We take our responsibilities a very seriously, to help protect people and property.

Fire can cause serious injury and even death, as well as damage to your home and personal possessions. We all have a responsibility to keep homes and buildings safe for everyone.

This page provides general information on how to reduce the risk of fire in your home, how you can help us keep your building safe, as well as explaining our commitments to you.

Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about fire safety in your building, you should call us immediately on 0300 555 0128, or speak to a member of our onsite team.

Your Responsibilities

There are lots of ways you can reduce the risk of fire in your home and help us to respond effectively in the event of an emergency.

  • Let us know if you would have difficulty self-evacuating your building

You should have been asked about any mobility or medical conditions that might make it difficult for you to leave your building independently in the event of a fire.

If your circumstances have changed for any reason and you might now find it harder to evacuate yourself from your building, you need to let us know as soon as possible so that we can create a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) for you.

A Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan provides personalised information about your needs and special instructions for emergency services who may need to evacuate you in the event of a fire. This information will be stored in a Secure Information Box (SIB) in your building, which can only be accessed by the emergency services and S4B and will not be shared with any other third parties.

If this applies to you, please contact our Customer Contact Centre as soon as possible, or speak to a member of our onsite team who will be able to assist you.

  • Keep your home and appliances working safely

There are many ways to keep your household safe and reduce the risk of fire. Electrical items should always be kept in good working order, and we recommend that you register all appliances online, so that you will be informed of any necessary product recalls. Find out about product recalls here.

E-bikes and E-scooters powered by Lithium-ion batteries are becoming increasingly popular and are responsible for a rising number of fires within homes. In the space of two years, the number of fires linked to this kind of technology has risen by more than 400%. It is essential that E-bikes, E-scooters and any other devices powered by Lithium-ion batteries are bought, stored, maintained, used and disposed of responsibly, to protect people and property. Find out more here.

You can find further general advice about fire safety in the home here.

  • Keep communal areas safe for everyone

Communal areas and access routes must be kept clear and free from any obstructions that might prevent a safe evacuation of your building. We conduct regular inspections to ensure that:

  • No items are left in the communal area as they could obstruct you or the emergency services, or potentially cause injury
  • Corridors, landings, foyers and stairways are kept completely clear
  • All meter and alarm panels are always accessible
  • Fire doors in the building are not interfered with by residents.

For everyone’s safety, we operate a zero-tolerance policy to any items that pose a potential hazard.

Any items or obstructions found within communal areas including riser cupboards will be removed. If there is no immediate risk or the item is perceived to have value; notice will be given of our intention to remove the item. Any item not claimed within 7 days of expiry of this notice will be disposed of permanently.

  • Always allow us access to test fire safety measures

We sometimes need access to your home to carry out essential inspections for your own safety. This includes checking your front door and communal doors are working properly as fire barriers, and ensuring your gas supply is securely connected.

You have already agreed to allow us access as part of your tenancy agreement with S4B

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into effect in January 2023, with new responsibilities for landlords and building owners relating to fire doors. Find out more here.

What should I do in the event of a fire?

If you live in a house or bungalow and you detect a fire, you need to act quickly. Make sure you are prepared and follow these simple steps:

  • Plan your escape and make sure everyone knows the routine
  • Keep your exit routes clear so you can escape easily
  • If doors and windows can be locked, make sure keys are easily accessible
  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself
  • Get out if it is safe to do so and leave your possessions behind
  • Close the doors behind you
  • Keep low – smoke rises and the air at a low level will be clearer
  • Dial 999 to report the fire
  • Stay out of your building until the Fire Brigade says it is safe to return
  • If your escape route is blocked, head to a room with a window, close the door and use blankets or bedding to stop smoke getting under the door, and call 999 or, if you haven’t got a phone, shout out of the window
  • Call the S4B Contact Centre on 0300 555 0128 so that we can make sure you are OK and arrange for any repairs or rehousing as necessary.

If you live in a flat, you also need to act quickly in the event of a fire but should always consider the following information:

There are a number of properties where a specific ‘evacuation strategy’ agreed with the Local Fire Authority will operate such as a ‘Stay Put’ policy or a ‘Full Evacuation’ of your building.

If there is a fire somewhere in your building, but not in your flat:

Purpose-built blocks of flats are designed with Fire Compartments to resist the spread of fire. Each flat and each area enclosed by fire doors is a compartment and has been designed to contain a fire. This means that if there is a fire in another part of the building, you are Safe to Stay inside your flat. You are free to leave if you become aware of a fire elsewhere and feel unsafe. You should not leave your flat if you are told not to by the fire service, or if the escape route is blocked by smoke. If in doubt, call 999.

In blocks of flats that have been converted from houses or other buildings, your block is likely to be on a Full Evacuation policy. This means that if there is a fire in any area of the building, fire alarms will activate, and you should evacuate immediately. Your building is still split into fire resisting compartments to allow for a safe exit.

Please follow the instructions on the Evacuation Strategy signage on display in communal areas of your building.

Our fire safety commitments to you

It is our duty to make sure that all our properties are compliant with current Fire Safety Standards. To do this, we:

  • Employ contractors to carry out regular gas, electrical and fire safety system checks in your home
  • Provide tailored fire safety measures for our vulnerable customers
  • Can advise how to arrange a home safety visit from your local Fire and Rescue Service

To raise any questions or concerns about fire safety in your S4B call us on 0300 555 0128.

Please note the useful information documents attached below. Make sure you are familiar with the evacuation policy for the building that you live in.