The safety of our residents is our highest priority and we continue to work in partnership with the Fire Service and independent fire safety experts to ensure we keep our residents safe.
The principle of a stay put policy remains, and is based on the fire safety design standards in use from the 1960s and earlier, and reflects the preferred approach of the fire and rescue service in purpose built blocks. The basis of the principle is as follows.
- In the event of a fire within an individual flat, that flat's automatic detection should alert the occupants who would then be expected to ensure that they and others in that flat make their way out of the building using the common escape routes and then summon the fire and rescue service.
- If the fire were to start within any of the common areas, anyone present in these areas who became aware of the fire would be expected to make their way out of the building using the common escape routes, and then summon the fire and rescue service.
- Other residents not directly affected by a fire in either of these scenarios would be expected to wait (stay put) and remain in their flat unless directed to leave by the fire and rescue service. This is also known as a delayed evacuation strategy.
The London Fire Brigade website has more information on the stay put policy, and if you live in a high rise you can also download a free copy of the high-rise safety booklet from Hampshire Fire and Rescue's website which gives more useful safety tips. You can also read more about our other fire safety measures.
What are we doing?
- We are continuing to check that our buildings contain the appropriate fire stopping (compartmentation) measures and where we are carrying out works; our safety warden patrols remain in place to ensure that residents are safe in their homes.
- We are visiting residents to make sure we are aware of any issues which might prevent them from safely evacuating their home. During these visits we are also checking all fire safety equipment at the building.
- The cladding is being removed and replaced on six of our buildings, including the tower blocks at Gosport and the Bolanachi building in Bermondsey Spa.
Residents are encouraged to read the London Fire Brigade Home Fire Safety Guide (PDF, 3.7MB) which gives excellent hints and tips on staying safe.
Each Hyde building has its own fire safety policy which will be clearly displayed in the communal areas. Residents are advised to familiarise themselves with the policy for their particular building and to follow the directions given.
The information below provides some more detail about the fire safety measures we have adopted, in addition to the stay put policy.
Fire extinguishers are not required in the common areas of blocks of flats and the guidance provided on the subject states it would be “generally undesirable to provide them”. There are a number of reasons why this guidance exists. Primarily the idea that a resident may leave their flat to get an extinguisher and then return to fight a fire without relevant training may place them at greater risk than if they simply left the building.
Residents are reminded if a fire occurs inside your flat; you should safely evacuate the building via the nearest exit. Do not attempt to tackle the fire.
Extinguishers would only be present in schemes where trained staff are on site.
If our fire risk assessment organisation identified extinguishers, they would have recommended their removal, which we are obliged to carry out.
Fire alarms are serviced regularly by trained, competent specialists. If not working, please notify us and we will have engineers attend as soon as possible.
Fire doors and smoke alarms
We have now completed detailed safety inspections and any issues regarding fire doors and smoke alarms are being prioritised.
Unless a building is over 30m in height and newly built, sprinklers are not required in purpose built blocks of flats. As part of the response to the current investigation post Grenfell Tower, we are looking at the feasibility of installing these retrospectively in some high priority buildings.