Following updated guidance from the fire service, the government and in line with Building Regulations, we are taking steps to make sure homes are as safe as possible.
This includes removing the smoke detectors from communal areas in schemes that have a ‘stay put’ policy.
When we built some of our flats, smoke alarms were installed in the common (shared) areas of the blocks. However, things have changed and fitting alarms in these areas now goes against the evacuation policy, causes confusion and can place you at greater risk.
Frequently Asked Questions
The ‘stay put’ policy is used in buildings where a fire can be safely contained within a flat. This means if evacuation is required, residents in the immediate area of the fire can evacuate first.
If the alarm sounds and you are in your flat, close all the windows and doors and stay put. Your home is designed to resist fire for 60 minutes. If people can stay safe by staying in their flats, the fire and rescue service can focus on extinguishing a fire without causing panic. Only leave your flat if it is affected by fire or smoke, or when you are advised to do so by the fire and rescue service.
To help keep you safe from fire each flat is fitted with self-closing fire doors that will contain a fire for at least 30 minutes. The chance of fire and smoke spreading beyond a flat where fire starts is low.
If you are told to evacuate your flat, follow the green exit signs. Never use the lifts or stop to collect belongings. Once you get outside, stay a safe distance away from the building and don’t go back inside until you are told it is safe to do so.
You can see what you should do if there is a fire by finding your scheme from this list.
You’ll need to click on which region you live in and then find your scheme. They are listed in alphabetical order.
You can also speak to your customer partner.
No, in fact removing these communal smoke detectors makes your scheme safer.
This is because these detectors go against the block’s evacuation policy. Stay put blocks are designed to support a ‘delayed evacuation’ policy, meaning there is no need for a communal fire alarm system.
Communal fire detectors could lead to false alarms and unnecessary calls to the fire service but, most importantly, risk residents ignoring warnings of real fires.
If you have any questions about fire safety, or you are worried or feel unsafe, please speak with your customer partner or home ownership specialist so we can reassure you. Alternatively email our specialist fire and safety team FireandSafetyTeam@AccentGroup.org