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Fire safety

Get important safety updates and important information about protecting your home from fire and what to do in the event of an emergency.

  • Fire safety advice
  • Frequently asked questions

We take fire safety very seriously and are committed to securing the safety, health and wellbeing of everyone within the Torus community. To help do this we:

  • Carry out Fire Risk Assessments of communal areas
  • Regularly inspect communal areas to minimise risk of fire, to ensure residents can escape in an emergency and that emergency service access is not hindered

Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs)

Torus is required to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Carrying out a Fire Risk assessment helps us to identify any fire related safety risks that may be present in our properties and any actions we may need to take to manage these risks. Safe use and storage of electrical equipment is important in fire prevention.

How often we carry out a Fire Risk Assessment depends on the level of risk.

  • Higher Risk - annually (high occupancy, high rise or specific risk)
  • Medium Risk – every two years (all other properties)
  • Lower Risk - every three years (these will be low occupancy, such as low-rise properties)
Fire Risk Assessment (communal areas)
Type of Property Frequency
Flat At least every 3 years
Multi-storey block Every year
Sheltered / Extra Care Every year
Bungalow Not required
House Not required

We will only need to access communal areas within the building. However, in flat blocks we may need access to individual flats to check fire doors, safety features e.g., closing mechanisms.

To find out more about your Fire Risk Assessment contact Torus Compliance Team, via Torus Customer Hub.

What can you do?

  • Report any concerns of fire safety to us at the earliest opportunity.
  • Read and take notice of information on notice boards in and around the property.
  • Do not tamper with any fire safety equipment - it is there to protect you and your home.
  • If you live in a flat, you may have a door closing mechanism on your front door this is to prevent fire spreading to your flat, do not tamper with this. If you have any concerns report them to us.
  • Do not store any items such as bikes, prams, mobility scooters, or decorative items and furniture in communal areas.
  • Think about home insurance to cover your personal possessions in the event of a fire.

If there is a fire don’t take risks!  Get Out, Stay Out and Call 999

Would YOU know what to do in the event of a fire? Could you save your family?

Did you know that most fires start in the kitchen? Did you know that you’re eight times more likely to die with no smoke alarm fitted?  From creating a bedtime routine, to preventing electrical faults, there are simple steps you can take to ensure you and your family are as safe as possible in your home.

Plan an escape route and make sure everyone in your household knows how to escape in case of a fire.

  • Keep your exits free from clutter, consider fire risks and evacuation when storing items in your home.
  • The best route is the normal way in and out of your home.
  • Think of a second route in case the first one is blocked.
  • Take a few minutes to practise your escape plan.
  • Review your plan if the layout of your home changes.

If you live in a Multi-storey Block, Sheltered or Extra Care Scheme ensure that you know and follow the fire procedure. The safety notice boards contain important information which all tenants must read.

If you live in a residential block, you should know your building’s evacuation plan. This is what you do in the event of a fire in the building. Everyone who lives in your home should know the evacuation plan and your quickest, safest route out of the building.

You’ll have one of two types of evacuation plan: stay put or simultaneous evacuation. A sign by the front entrance of your block will explain which type of plan is used in your building. This information is also provided when you move in.

Stay put

Stay put means that if there is a fire elsewhere in your building, you’re usually safer staying in your flat with the doors and windows closed.

Important: if your flat is affected by fire or smoke, leave immediately, closing the door behind you. Once you’re safely outside, phone 999 for the fire brigade.

Simultaneous evacuation

Simultaneous evacuation means if you hear a fire alarm in your flat and throughout the building – or you know there is a fire in the building – you should follow your evacuation plan and leave by the quickest and safest route. Don’t re-enter until you’re told it’s safe.

Fire alarms

Most of our blocks have stay put plans, which means they don’t have communal fire alarms. This follows fire brigade recommendations. In a building with a stay put plan, a communal alarm system can be confusing and cause residents to mass evacuate. This is potentially dangerous and can also prevent firefighters from reaching the fire.

Fire safety advice

Useful tips and information to keep you and your family safe.

  • Don’t take the batteries out of your smoke detector: if it goes off by mistake, just wait for it to stop.
  • Check your smoke detector works once a month by pressing the test button. If it doesn’t make any sound when you test it – or if you don’t have a smoke detector – please contact us.

  • You should have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. If you don’t have one, please contact your local gas contractor.

  • Never leave your cooker unattended when in use.
  • Keep your hob, oven and grill clean – build-ups of fat and grease are a major fire risk.
  • Keep flammable items like tea towels and other fabrics away from your cooker.
  • Don’t store objects on top of microwaves as this can block ventilation.

  • Switch off electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Check appliances, cables and plugs to make sure everything is in working order.
  • Don’t overload sockets with too many electrical appliances.
  • Use the correct type and wattage of bulb for light fittings.

  • Mobile phones and tablets that are left charging overnight can overheat and cause fires.
  • Only use the charger which was designed for the appliance, do not use if it is damaged or the cables are frayed. Switch off when not in use and ensure cable charging end isn’t covered when not in use i.e. covered by loose or discarded linen.
  • Never put your phone under your pillow at night, it can overheat and cause a fire.

  • Don’t cover heaters or dry clothes on them.
  • If possible, secure your heater against a wall so it can’t fall over.
  • Position heaters away from flammable bedding, curtains and furniture.
  • Don’t leave your heater unattended or fall asleep with it on.
  • Don’t leave children or pets unattended where heaters are switched on.
  • Don’t power heaters from an extension lead.

  • Don’t leave lit candles, matches or cigarettes unattended.
  • Keep burning candles or lit cigarettes away from children.
  • Don’t put candles or cigarettes on or near your TV.
  • Keep candles or cigarettes away from curtains and fabrics.
  • Extinguish candles, matches and cigarettes before leaving a room or going to sleep.
  • Go outside to smoke.
  • Don’t smoke in bed.

  • Make sure door-closers work properly, fully shutting the door without assistance.
  • Don’t wedge fire doors open, closed doors helps stop fire from spreading.
  • Do not remove or tamper with the door closer, it may save your life in the event of a fire
  • If you live in a flat with a communal area, allow us access if we need to inspect your fire door, we need to check the door is functioning as it should.

If there’s a problem with a door-closer, or a door doesn’t fit the frame properly and leaves a gap, please contact us.

Leave communal areas clear - you’re not allowed to keep or store anything in communal areas.

Keep communal areas clear of rubbish and personal items such as door mats, bikes, prams or mobility scooters, so you can escape quickly and safely in the event of a fire or emergency. Things left in communal areas can also help to spread a fire or can obstruct or cause injury in the event of fire when you or your neighbours are trying to evacuate.

If you see rubbish or personal items in communal areas, please contact us.

Oxygen has been widely used medically for many years. Oxygen therapy means using an oxygen cylinder or a machine to breathe in air that contains more oxygen than normal.

If you use oxygen therapy at home, you will need to take some additional fire safety precautions. If used sensibly, oxygen can be safe. However, used incorrectly it can cause severe burns, which can prove fatal.

Using oxygen safely

Do not use oxygen next to:

  • Cigarettes
  • Lighters and matches
  • Cooking appliances
  • Heating appliances
  • Grease or oil-based products
  • Never smoke or let anyone else smoke while you are using oxygen.
  • Turn off the equipment when not in use and ventilate the room.
  • Do not use flammable products, such as cleaning fluid, paint thinner, petroleum-based
  • creams or aerosols, while you are using oxygen.
  • Ensure you have smoke alarms within your home that are in working order.
  • Always follow the safety guidance from your oxygen cylinder or concentrator supplier.
  • Contact your Local Fire service for advice.


  • Follow the manufacturer's advice on how to store oxygen.
  • Your oxygen equipment should be stored safely; out of direct sunlight and in a place that is well ventilated, always dry and away from heat sources.
  • Store away from areas that would block escape routes or fire exits.
  • Store away from combustible material (such as paper, cardboard, curtains).

Lithium batteries can cause fires and can KILL!

Top tips to keep you, your family, and neighbours safe:

  • Only use branded, genuine products/charging devices from reputable retailers that meet UK safety standards
  • Never charge electric bikes or e-scooters while you are sleeping or not at home
  • Unplug device once it has finished charging
  • Don’t leave continuously on charge - lithium-ion batteries work best if only charged 20 to 80%
  • Never cover the charger as this could lead to it overheating or setting on fire and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Be wary of DIY kits bought online to convert a standard bike into an e-bike
  • When disposing of a lithium-ion battery or electrical device don’t put into your general rubbish, follow manufacturer’s instructions for disposal

Warning signs to look for that indicate your battery is a fire hazard:

  • Heat: Its normal for a battery to generate some heat when charging or in use, however if your devices battery feels extremely hot to the touch there’s a chance its defective and may start a fire.
  • Bulging: A battery bulging or swelling out of shape is a common sign of it failing, if your battery looks swollen you should stop using it immediately
  • Noise: Failing Lithium batteries have been reported to make hissing or cracking sounds
  • Smell: If you notice a strong or unusual smell coming from the battery this could be a sign of it failing
  • Performance: A failure to fully charge or longer charge times can be a sign that your battery is failing
  • Smoke: Your battery or device is smoking a fire has already started evacuate the premises and call the fire brigade battery could potentially explode due to thermal runaway occurring

Never block escape routes with an e-bike or e-scooter and ensure you have working smoke and heat alarms in your home to be alerted to the first signs of fire.

Fire safety FAQs

We check all fire equipment regularly to make sure it’s working, like your building’s emergency lighting, automatic opening vents and fire alarms.

  • Emergency lighting – every three months.
  • Fire alarms – every three months.
  • Automatic opening vents – every six months.
  • Firefighting equipment – every year. 

Residential tower blocks with one main staircase and no fire escape are designed in this way so that if a fire breaks out in a flat, it will be contained by fire doors and not spread. This protects the communal staircase from fire, leaving it as a safe escape route.

Advice from the fire brigade and other authorities recommends that fire alarms should not be fitted in the communal areas of blocks which operate a stay put policy, where it is safer for you to stay in your own flat.

This is because it would be confusing and even dangerous for residents to hear a communal alarm when they have been advised to stay in their flat in the event of a fire.

Fire extinguishers aren’t normally provided, except where staff are employed on site who are trained to use the equipment, or where there are communal facilities including plant rooms and staff rooms.

In the event of a fire, don’t try to put it out: follow your evacuation plan and get to safety.

The fire brigade advises that it is not practical to have fire drills in residential blocks. Instead, you should make sure you’re up to date on fire safety advice and that you and your family know what to do in the event of a fire, including practising your evacuation plan.