Fire safety advice

image: fire safety

image: fire safetyThe safety of residents is our number one priority. We have robust procedures and comprehensive controls in place regarding fire safety which are reviewed and tested on a regular basis. 

Each building has its own Fire Risk Assessment. Contact us if you would like to receive a copy of the risk assessment report for your building.

Request your report

Our approach to cladding and fire safety

We’ve comprehensive controls in place regarding fire safety and we review and test these on a regular basis.

Read more about our approach to cladding and fire safety here.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

We want you and your family to always be safe in your home. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms save lives by alerting you to immediate dangers within your home. It’s really important you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms installed and regularly check they’re working.

We’re here to help

The law is changing around smoke and carbon monoxide alarms within your home. As your landlord, we’ll become responsible for ensuring the following from 1 October 2022: 

  • At least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of your home where there is a room used as living accommodation
  • A carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers)
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once you inform us, and they’re found to be faulty.

What are we doing to comply with the law? 

We’ll be checking all our homes have the necessary smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms over the next 12 months. This may be done as part of your annual gas safety check. Or we may arrange for other contractors to come and check your alarms. 

What should you be doing? 

We’ve over 45,000 homes so we would ask for your patience as we work our way through. If you have a faulty smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, please report this to us via MyAccount:

What to do in the event of a fire?

We hope you never need to deal with a fire, but if you do, it's best to be prepared.

Living in a purpose-built flat or maisonette

We’d advise you to familiarise yourself with any fire safety information in communal areas of your block. 

If you’ve any further concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The London Fire Brigade have some great advice on their website

Do I stay put in the event of a fire?

The advice on whether to evacuate or not will depend on the building you live in.

If you live in a purpose built block of flats, there will be a fire action notice in the communal areas with the recommended approach for your building.

If you have any concerns, please contact us.

Further information about bungalows, houses or a flat within a converted older building can be found on the London Fire Brigade's website here.

Our commitment

We work closely with the fire authorities to review fire safety advice and practices.

image: fire safetyAnd as part of our annual gas safety inspection of your home we commit to:
  • Check the gas supply into your home
  • Service your heating system, including any hot water cylinder and thermostats
  • Check and test any hard-wired smoke alarms.
In addition, if you live in a block we'll:
  • Fit fire doors and smoke alarms in communal areas
  • Provide the appropriate signage and fire protection equipment
  • Display a fire action notice detailing the evacuation requirements of the building.

Reducing the risk of fires at home...

Here's some general advice from the London Fire Brigade on how you can reduce the risk of fires at home. This list is not exhaustive, so please visit their website for more great advice.


image: smoke alarmHaving working smoke alarms in your home could save your life.

Consider having one on every floor of your home and in rooms that have a higher risk of a fire.

Make sure you test your smoke alarms regularly (at least once a month).

Further details are available from the London Fire Brigade here.


Most people have lots of items in their home, and that's fine, but it can become a problem if clutter starts to build up and have a negative impact on your day-to-day life, safety and your health.

  • Keeping your home tidy from clutter can help to reduce fires. Decluttering your home can be stressful, but there are lots of simple steps you can take to get you started. Find out more here.

  • Your safety is our number one priority. It’s really important nobody stores potential trip hazards or combustible items (e.g. bikes, pushchairs) in communal spaces.

    Please keep access in communal areas free of obstacles/combustible items. Report issues to us and talk to your neighbours if there are obstructions which make it difficult to move through walkways, especially if they are routes to fire escapes.   


Smoking & candles

The following advice offers guidance for those who smoke and use candles. However please note that in some Optivo homes the use of candles and smoking is strictly prohibited and fines may be enforced.

image: alertWe advise these residents, such as those living in student or keyworker accommodation, to refer to their tenancy or licence agreements and follow the guidance within the building regarding these rules.


If you smoke, try to avoid doing so inside.  If you do smoke inside:

  • Make sure the cigarette is extinguished
  • Don't smoke in bed or anywhere you may fall asleep
  • Never leave anything with a flame unattended
  • Use proper ashtrays and never put ash or hot cigarettes in the bin
  • Store matches and lighters away safely when not in use and keep out of the reach of children.

Candles:image: candle

Candles are one of the common causes of home fires.

Can you use them safely at home?

Here's some guidance from the London Fire Brigade.


Here are some top tips for when you're in the kitchen:
  • Never leave pans or the grill unattended in the kitchen
  • Don't cook if you're too tired or if you're feeling drowsy due to medication or after drinking alcohol
  • Here's some further advice on cooking and fire safety from the London Fire Brigade.


  • Make sure heaters are kept a distance from anything that may set alight.
  • Don't plug too many appliances into electrical sockets.

Other useful advice

  • Do not leave an aerosol can close to heat sources even when they are empty, because they may explode and cause injury

  • Never use a barbecue (including a disposable one) indoors or on a balcony

  • You can find more safety advice on the London Fire Brigade's website.

Video archive

Here's a selection of videos from our fire safety expert Kathryn.

Also in this section:

Concerned about fire safety?

If you have concerns or questions about fire safety in your home, we're here to advise further.

Please contact us to discuss further.

Contact Us