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Fire safety advice for sheltered housing

The following fire safety advice should only be followed by residents in our Independent Living Schemes (previously called Sheltered Housing). 

Download our leaflet - Staying Safe in your home


It is important to remember that fires in Independent Living Schemes are rare.

Make sure you know the fire safety procedures and evacuation plans for your specific property, and contact your Independent Living Manager if you need further information and advice.

If a fire breaks out in your building:

  • If you are in your flat, stay there if you feel safe
  • If you are in a communal or public area, evacuate the building
  • If your flat becomes affected by smoke, leave it at once closing your door behind you
  • If you have to move through smoke, keep as low as possible where the air is cleaner


Follow these tips if a fire breaks out in your flat (your smoke alarm should alert you – make sure you test it regularly):

• DO alert everyone else and leave the flat, closing doors behind you
• DO use the stairs to exit – never be tempted to use the lift
• DO find a phone and call 999 when you are out of the building

• DON’T open doors looking for the source of the fire
• DON’T stop to gather personal belongings
• DON’T go back into the building until you have been told it is safe to do so

Things you can do
Make sure you know what to do if a fire breaks out so that you can escape as quickly and safely as possible.

Make sure passages and stairways are always clear of things like rubbish bags, bikes, mobility scooters or furniture. Fire smoke makes it difficult to see ahead, so these big objects could stop people escaping.

Electrical goods
• Electrical items can start fires if they’re faulty or used incorrectly.
• Make sure USB chargers for e-cigarettes, smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Watch out for warning signs like flickering lights, hot plugs or worn cables.

• Don’t leave lit cigarettes unattended and make sure they’re stubbed out. 
• Never smoke in bed.
• Keep matches out of the reach of children.

• Never leave cooking unattended.
• Never fill a chip pan more than a third full of fat or oil.

Portable heating
• Never use heaters to dry clothes – and make sure they stand on a stable surface.

Safe storage
• Always store motorcycles or petrol cans in a safe store or garage.

Before you go to bed
• Unplug all portable heaters.
• Make sure all cigarettes are put out. Leave ashtrays outside if you’re unsure. 
• Close the doors to all rooms. This should slow the spread of fire and smoke if a fire does break out.


For more home safety tips visit Kent Fire & Rescue’s website.