Advice on what to do to prevent fires in the communal areas of flats is being issued to Northampton Borough Council tenants in the wake of fire safety advice from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Letters warning tenants of the risks of leaving items in the communal areas of flats, which includes all shared areas such as hallways, stairs, entrance areas and areas under the stairs, will be delivered to all council tenants living in flats this week.
Items left in these areas, however small, pose a fire hazard and could slow down or prevent people from leaving the building in an emergency. Items could also cause an obstruction that could delay the fire service from gaining access to a building in the event of a fire. Mobility scooters have been singled out by the Fire Service as posing a particular hazard that the council should draw tenants’ attention to, as they are a potential source of ignition and have been the cause of fires in flats in other parts of the country.
In line with Fire Service advice the council is bringing the issue to tenants’ attention and reminding them that any items, and specifically mobility scooters, are not to be stored in communal areas of blocks of flats.
Councillor Mary Markham, Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for housing, said: "The safety of our residents is our overriding concern. Tenants will already be aware that they should not be storing any items in communal areas, but the latest advice from the Fire Service gives us the opportunity to remind them of the reasons for this.”
Any tenant wanting more information can speak to their housing officer or for general fire safety advice, which has been prepared with the help of the Fire Service, visit the council’s website at http://www.northampton.gov.uk/ and type in ‘fire safety advice’ in the search bar.