Your responsibilities as a resident

Your landlord and managing agent have a duty to take steps to prevent fires breaking out in the communal areas, but there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Don’t obstruct the communal areas, stairs, corridors and landings, these often form the fire escape routes for the building.
  • Don’t prop open fire doors in communal areas.
  • Don’t store prams, bicycles or mobility scooters in communal areas without the permission of the landlord or managing agent.
  • If you see anything in the communal areas that doesn’t belong there, check who it belongs to or tell your landlord or managing agent.
  • Manage your home contents – don’t store anything that might catch fire or burn in cupboards that have electrical equipment (especially items such as consumer units/fuse boards) unless they have been specifically designed for safe storage.
  • You must allow access for essential maintenance.
  • You should report to your landlord any damage to the building structure that could compromise fire safety (e.g fire doors).
  • Many blocks of flats are built to resist fire spreading between individual flats and communal areas – this is called compartmentation. To protect the compartmentation, report any damage to the landlord.
  • Before doing any DIY, check with your landlord that this will not affect any of the fire safety features in your flat.
  • There may be facilities in the common areas that are installed to help fire and rescue services in an emergency, such as dry and wet risers, opening vents and evacuation alert systems. These should be protected to prevent unauthorised access.