We all need to do our bit to keep ourselves and the people around us safe.

Don’t let anything get in your way in an emergency

To make sure everyone can always get out of the building if they need to, shared areas should be kept clear at all times of anything that could catch fire or get in someone’s way.
Your neighbourhood housing officers and caretakers regularly check shared areas and may remove things that could be dangerous for you and your neighbours without notice. We will need to be stricter:

  • in buildings where the shared areas have closed walkways, because they have a higher risk of filling up with smoke if there’s a fire
  • in high rise buildings where lots of people live
  • in street properties – if you live in a street property the only item you can store in communal areas or outside of your home is a doormat

Please make that sure everyone who lives with you knows what you can and can’t keep in communal areas, to help keep your building safer for you, your family and the people living around you.


Everyone in all Camden council homes (street properties and purpose built blocks) can have a doormat. Please don’t put carpet underneath your doormat as it could catch fire and we will ask you to remove it.


Purpose built blocks

If you live in a purpose built block, you are allowed live pot plants outside your home as long as they are not in plastic pots and they are not in anyone’s way.
You can have more than one plant pot but please be sensible. Even in terracotta pots, dried out soil can be a fire hazard and lots of pots makes it more difficult for your caretakers to clean your communal areas.
Your neighbourhood housing officer may talk to you and ask you to bring some plants inside if there are too many outside your flat – please work with them and your caretakers – this is to keep everyone safe.
You are not allowed plastic pots, flowers or plants because they could catch fire and create toxic smoke.
Street properties
If you live in a street property, you cannot keep plants or any other items in communal areas. The only item you can store in communal areas or outside of your home is a doormat.

Metal security gates and grilles

You are not allowed a metal security gate or grille unless your flat is on the ground floor in an open courtyard – and the London Fire Brigade would rather you didn’t have one at all.
Metal security doors don’t catch fire but if left open they could stop your neighbours getting out quickly in an emergency. 

If there was a fire in your flat and the door was locked, it would be harder for the fire brigade to get in and help you.

Never fit a security gate without speaking to your neighbourhood housing officer first – you will only be allowed to fit one if you have permission from the Council.

Shoes and shoe racks

You are not allowed to keep shoes or shoe racks outside your door.
Even if your shoes or shoe rack aren’t in someone’s way, if they caught fire it could fill the shared areas with smoke, making it harder for everyone in your building to get out.

Other flammable items

All of these items are flammable and you’re not allowed to store them outside your home:

  • Buggies and prams
  • Rubbish and rubbish bags
  • Furniture
  • Paint and other DIY materials
  • Mobility scooters
  • Bikes and scooters
  • Plastic plants or plastic plant pots
  • Motorbikes or mopeds 

If you’re keeping these or anything else that could catch fire outside your flat, in corridors or any other communal area, please find somewhere else to keep them.

Contacting us about communal areas

If you see anything in your communal areas that could be dangerous for you or other residents, report it to your neighbourhood housing officer as soon as you can. In an emergency always call 999.
If you have any other questions about fire safety please contact your neighbourhood housing officer or speak to your caretaker.
We know that storage is difficult for many tenants. If storage is a problem for you, get in touch with your neighbourhood housing officer to see how we can help. 
You’ll find their details on the poster in the lobby of your block, at camden.gov.uk/your-neighbourhood-housing-officer or by calling 020 7974 4444.