Cladding and fire safety
We do have cladding on some of our buildings, but it is not the same as that used on Grenfell Tower in London. The cladding used in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower is an aluminium composite material. It consists of a polyethylene core sandwiched between sheets of aluminium. It is important to note that the cladding systems specified for our blocks of flats were generally selected as part of the original design, taking into account all material and design factors and regulations, and are not retrofit installations. Where cladding has been retrofitted we have inspected and tested it. There is one block where we think the cladding is not as safe as we want it to be so we are replacing it.
Does your front and back door meet with fire regulations? If not, you could be in breach of your lease as well as putting your friends, family and neighbours at risk.
Your front and back doors should have a fire resistance of at least 30 minutes with a smoke seal fitted. This would allow you more time to escape a building and help to reduce the time a fire takes to spread.
Fire safety in the home
We do our best to keep your homes safe from fire – and we need your help.
- Never leave candles or cooking unattended.
- Make sure cigarettes are properly extinguished.
- If you have smoke alarms, test them weekly, and replace batteries when necessary.
- Make sure you know what to do if you do have a fire. Have an escape route planned.
- Keep your escape routes clear.
- If there is anything that might prevent you escaping, please contact your housing officer for advice.
Fire safety in communal areas
You must keep all communal areas clear - we have fire safety notices that tell you what is allowed in communal areas and what is not allowed.
The stairways are the escape routes, and must be kept completely clear. Fire doors must be kept closed, not propped open.
We maintain these areas weekly but please report any piles of rubbish or other items to your housing officer immediately. You can call us on 01305 216060.
What to do in an emergency (flats)
If there is a fire is in your block of flats there are two different actions you might take: stay where you are or evacuate the block with other residents.
If you evacuate (get out) please shut doors behind you if possible (to stop the spread of fire) and then call the fire service once you are out of the building.
There are notices in each block to tell you what we advise you to do for the building you live in. If you are not sure what you should do if there is a fire where you live, then please call your housing officer IMMEDIATELY on 01305 216060.
You must not store or charge your scooter in communal areas of the building where you live. If you have a mobility scooter, you must use a dedicated charging point within a room fitted with smoke detection and 30 minutes of fire resistance. This short video shows what can happen if your scooter catches fire whilst charging.
Any further advice
If your fire alarm / smoke detectors sound, get everyone out of the property. Close the doors (to stop the spread of fire) and call the fire service.
If you are worried about getting out of your property in time (for example, if you have mobility problems) please let us know by calling us on 01305 216060. You can also call us if you are concerned about a vulnerable neighbour.
Do you have medical oxygen in your home? Please let us know, so we can inform the fire service.
Free fire safety advice
The fire service offers free 'safe and well' visits. If you would like them to visit your home, contact Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 038 2323 or book online at https://www.dwfire.org.uk/safety/safe-and-well-visits/.
Any other concerns?
We take the risk of fire very seriously. If you have any concerns at all about fire safety in your home, please contact your housing officer on 01305 216060 or a member of our asset management team on 01305 214009.