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Fire safety advice for residents

Protecting you and your household

  • The easiest way to protect your home and family from fire is with a working smoke alarm
  • A smoke alarm can provide an early warning of a fire and allow you to make your escape –
  • but only if it is working. You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire if you do not have a
  • working smoke alarm.
  • Test your smoke alarms regularly.
  • Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your smoke alarm.

You can prevent fire from happening by taking a few simple steps

  • Don’t leave cooking unattended, and avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone with cooking on the hob.
  • Be especially vigilant when cooking with oil. Don’t overfill chip pans and NEVER throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • Make sure cigarettes are put out properly, use a proper ashtray and don’t smoke in bed.
  • Don’t overload electrical sockets.
  • Turn off appliances when not in use. Don’t even leave them on standby.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach and sight of children.
  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains. Children shouldn’t be left alone with lit candles


  • Test your smoke alarm once a week.
  • Keep the exit route from your flat clear so you can escape in an emergency.
  • Close doors at night, especially the doors to the lounge and kitchen to prevent fire spreading.
  • Plan your escape NOW. Be prepared and don’t wait until it happens

London Fire Brigade now provide an online Home Fire Safety Checker which provides tailored advice for your home, or the home of someone you care for.
Home Fire Safety Checker (HFSC) | London Fire Brigade (london-fire.gov.uk)

For residents in Hertfordshire –
Fire safety home visits, school visits and open days | Hertfordshire County Council

Alternatively, you can book a home visit Book a home fire safety visit | London Fire Brigade (london-fire.gov.uk)

For residents in Hertfordshire -
Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue: Arrange a Safe and Well visit

Fire safety on balconies

Fire risk on balconies can be increased by the use of balconies for storage of combustible materials (things that would burn in a fire). Following new advice from the London Fire Brigade we’d like you to remove anything combustible from your balcony and take extra care to make sure cigarettes or any other smoking materials are completely extinguished. 

BBQ's should not be used on balconies under any circumstances. A number of recent fires in and around London have been caused by:

  • Falling embers burning items on the ground below
  • BBQ’s being close to other flammable objects
  • Disposable barbecues being left unattended after use
  • The risks are increased by the fact that wind speeds are stronger at a greater height.
  • The position of a BBQ on a balcony and/or the layout of balconies can also affect ease of escape for building occupants.

However, barbecues are not the only potential balcony hazard. Fire pits, patio heaters and smoking all pose additional risks. 

Fire safety FAQs

What can you do?
  • Get familiar with the fire safety guidance in your block, even if you are not in a block it’s worth reading the points below.
  • Check to see if your appliances have been recalled as they may be potentially dangerous.
  • Finally, please take a minute to make sure there is no damage to your front door. 
  • If you are unable to evacuate your home due to either a permanent or temporary disability, please contact us and we can arrange for a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan for you.
Do you provide fire extinguishers?

We don’t provide fire extinguishers in our properties where we don’t have a member of the Origin team on site. We made this decision based on London Fire Brigade advice and Statutory Guidance.  The guidance explains that fire extinguishers are for small fires, should only be used by people who are trained and if a fire was to break out in a flat the occupant may rush out to get the extinguisher to fight the fire rather than keeping their door shut to help prevent the fire spreading.

What has Origin been doing?
  • We have invested £millions in fire protection over the last few years
  • We are continuing to ensure there is a regular programme of Fire Risk Assessments for each of our blocks.
  • We have taken further steps to ensure safety by completing full expert assessments on our properties including looking at measures which prevent the spread of smoke and fire and deciding if a stay put policy is appropriate.
  • As part of this work we have been upgrading doors and closers, where required, to ensure that fire is contained and escape routes are protected.