We ask all residents to keep shared areas clear.
Our fire risk assessments have highlighted an issue with residents keeping items in shared areas, so we are asking all residents to remove any of their possessions that they have kept in these shared areas.
While some of these items may appear harmless, they still need to be removed. If bpha gave permission for items to stay, we would have to carry out a written risk assessment for every single item in every single building on a regular basis. This would be almost impossible because our residents generally don't tell us when they put items out. And even if we were told, it would be a large, expensive, and time consuming exercise.
This means that the simplest thing to do is ask that no items are left in shared areas.
When staff members are working in shared areas, they will place a sticker on items that need to be removed. This tape warns people that the item needs to be removed immediately and if it is not, that staff will take action and remove it within two (2) days.
If storing items inside your home is hard, you can contact your Resident Services Officer who maybe able to talk to you about possible solutions. This could include applying for money to build some external storage from our neighbourhood improvement budget.
Residents that store a mobility aid in a shared area should contact their Resident Services Officer immediately so that they can talk about possible solutions.
Why do we do this?
During a fire, items stored in shared areas can help spread the fire and cause a lot of smoke. This makes it important that:
Soft furnishings or anything else made from materials that can catch fire (including decorations) must NOT be placed in shared areas, even if they are made from fire retardant material. This is because they give off dangerous fumes if they do catch on fire.
Artificial plants must not be placed in shared areas because they give off dangerous fumes if they catch on fire.
Only electrical equipment bpha provides may be used in shared areas (e.g. fixed electric heaters). Charging electric scooters in shared areas is not allowed as they cause both an obstruction and a fire risk.
Do NOT prop open doors in common and shared areas. These are fire doors and are designed to stop the spread of smoke and fire. Please report any faulty door closers to bpha on 0330 100 0272 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Rubbish collection points should be kept clear. ALL rubbish must be put into the bins provided.
Why is this important?
Following these simple guidelines and keeping shared areas clear means that the route to escape from a fire is protected. Fire exits should always be kept clear to allow an easy way to leave a building and any damage or vandalism to fire exit doors should be reported immediately.
Why can't I have a doormat or rug?
While mats and rugs might seem harmless, they should not be placed outside the entrance door to your flat. If there is fire and there is a lot of smoke, it can be very difficult to see where you're going. People leaving a building in a hurry and firefighters trying to help people or stop a fire spreading can also trip on them, which can make them dangerous. If you do want to have a mat to wipe your feet, will it fit just inside your door?
More information on fire safety law can be found through the Communities and Local Government website.