Fire safety at home
In the event of a fire in your home, an escape plan can save your life.
The safest fire procedure for your home depends on what kind of building you live in. It is vital you know the fire evacuation plan for your building and where the exits are.
The London Fire Brigade has advice on what to do if you live in a:
If you are a council tenant or leaseholder, contact your on-site caretaker or housing officer for more information about your evacuation plan. If you are a private tenant in Camden, contact your landlord.
Fire safety video: how to keep safe in your home
London Fire Brigade Borough Commander David George shares some important information on fire safety precautions in your home.
Remove fire hazards
If you store personal belongings in shared areas, they could prevent people from getting out safely during a fire.
If you have large items you need to get rid of, find out how to book a bulky waste collection. You can also call 020 7974 4444, selecting option 4 and then option 3.
Smoke alarms and safety checks
All homes must have a working smoke alarm. You are 4 times less likely to die from a fire in a home where a smoke alarm is fitted.
Smoke alarms have 10-year batteries and are designed to be easy to use with a ‘hush’ button for false alarms. If your alarm stops working, the London Fire Brigade will replace it for free.
All Camden residents can request a free home fire safety visit from the London Fire Brigade.
During your visit, they will:
- fit free and additional smoke alarms, if you need them
- replace any broken equipment
- give advice on preventing fires
- assess your home for fire risks
Visits are targeted in areas and situations where there is a higher risk of fire. This includes homes of older or disabled people.
There are also alarms designed specifically for people with hearing or visual impairments, such as an alarm that activates a strobe light or vibrating pad for the hearing impaired. These are also installed free of charge.
Advice to keep you safe
To help prevent fires from happening, you should:
- avoid leaving your hob or grill unattended while in use
- take care when cooking with hot oil and think about using automatic deep fat fryers
- never leave lit candles unattended
- make sure cigarettes are stubbed out and disposed of carefully
- never smoke in bed
- do not overload sockets and follow advice on electric devices that can cause fires
- keep matches and lighters away from children
- never use a barbecue indoors or on a balcony
- keep clothing away from heating appliances
- take special care when you are tired or when you've been drinking
The London Fire Brigade website has more fire safety advice.
Electric bikes, scooters and wheelchairs
Fires caused by lithium batteries are increasing. Storing and charging electric bikes, scooters and wheelchairs safely can mean the difference between life and death.
Never block exits and doorways with your e-bike, scooter or wheelchair. This could prevent you from leaving your home quickly in an emergency.
It is vital that you keep your vehicle near an existing smoke alarm, or fit a new one in the area where you keep it. You can get a free alarm from the London Fire Brigade.
How to use lithium batteries safely
- only buy batteries from a trusted seller to make sure they meet safety standards
- follow the manufacturers’ instructions to charge the battery and unplug the charger when you’ve finished using it
- charge batteries on hard flat surfaces so that they don’t overheat
- never leave a battery charging when you’re asleep or away from home
- check batteries regularly to make sure they are in good condition – they can be dangerous if they have been damaged
- keep batteries out of sunlight and put them somewhere cool, especially on hot days
- leave the battery to cool down after you have used your vehicle before charging again
The London Fire Brigade has more information about lithium batteries and how to keep yourself safe.
Gas cooker recall
Beko is seeking some older models of Beko, Flavel and Leisure gas cookers that can pose a serious risk to your health.
The affected models were manufactured before 2009 and could produce fatal levels of carbon monoxide if using the grill with the door closed.
You can check if your cooker is affected.