Fire safety


This page provides advice on fire safety and what to do if you have a fire in your home.

What to do if there is a fire in your home

  • Close the door to the room where the fire is located, if it is safe to do so
  • Do not stop to collect personal belongings
  • If you live in Sheltered accommodation, activate the nearest alarm
  • Dial 999 and ask for the fire service
  • Alert other people in your home
  • Leave the premises and close the door behind you
  • Remain at a safe distance away from the building 
  • Do not tackle the fire yourself
  • Do not return to the building until authorised to do so

What if you live in a flat with communal areas

Every year, the council carries out inspections of the communal areas and tests the emergency lighting, smoke alarms and heat detectors in the buildings it manages. Our housing officers also regularly check communal areas to make sure they are clear of fire hazards.

If you live in a flat with a communal area and a fire starts, you should:

  • Close the door to the room the fire is in and leave your flat
  • Do not use the lift
  • Raise the alarm, dial 999 and ask for the fire service
  • If there is a fire in another flat, leave by the nearest available stairwell
  • In the unlikely event that stairwells or corridors are smoke logged, stay in your flat with the door closed - if possible, call the emergency services to advise of your position

Fire Doors

Fire doors are specialist doors that are designed and tested to withstand the effects of fire for a specified period.

An effective fire door delays the spread of smoke and flames from one area to another.

The brushes stop the spread of smoke.

Intumescent strips, which can be found either in the door or frame expand when heated creating a seal.

The door itself will withstand the spread of fire and smoke for a minimum of 30 minutes.

You must make sure:

  • Fire doors are kept shut at all times
  • No changes are to be made and the door must not be tampered with in any way. This includes removing the closing device, fitting your own locks, letterbox, spyhole, or vents.
  • If your flat front door or any communal fire doors are damaged, report these immediately on 0345 2000 102.

How you can help avoid the risk of fire

As a resident, you can help avoid the risk of fire by:

  • checking your smoke alarms regularly
  • not storing flammable materials, like large amounts of paper, in your flat or communal areas
  • not blocking escape routes with bulky items
  • not wedging fire doors open - they must remain closed to prevent the spread of smoke and fire
  • not smoking within the communal areas of the building
  • not leaving cookers unattended when using the hob
  • not using deep fat frying pans
  • not storing petroleum gas or paraffin

Emergency access

Do not park your vehicle in any area designated for 'emergency vehicles only' or 'fire hydrants'.


Housing enquiries
Telephone: 0345 2000 102

Further information

Get  fire safety advice from the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.