Fire safety in Ealing’s council housing

Tips on how to keep safe at home

Fires are more likely to start at home then anywhere else. Here are some useful tips that you can use to ensure your property and the communal area(s) stay as safe as possible.


  • When using the hob, keep your saucepan handles turned in so they do not get knocked off
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from your cooker and be careful if you are wearing loose clothing
  • If you are cooking with oil and it catches fire, never use water on it - it will cause a fireball
  • Switch off all non-essential appliances at night
  • If you need to leave the room take your pans off the heat - many kitchen fires are caused when pans are left unattended
  • Keep your oven, oven hood filters and hob clean and free of grease as this can quickly ignite and cause a fire
  • Do not try and tackle the fire yourself, get out and call 999 immediately.

Keeping children safe

  • Do not let children play with electrical items. Use plug guards in sockets and unplug appliances that children could trip over
  • Never leave children alone
  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of children’s sight and reach
  • Always use a childproof fire guard, and don’t let children play or leave toys near a fire or heater
  • Take care when cooking - never leave children alone in the kitchen. Turn pan handles inwards to avoid them being knocked off
  • Make sure your evacuation route is clear of any toys or pushchairs which may block it
  • Remember to keep doors closed at night
  • Discuss the importance of fire safety with your children.

Extension leads and plug safety

  • It is safest to use one plug in each socket and switch off your electrical appliances when you are not using them
  • Never use damaged plugs, cables or sockets
  • If you need an adaptor use a multi-socket extension lead
  • Keep the lead uncoiled to avoid overheating
  • Do not overload the extension lead and use only good quality Kite-marked and CE marked adaptors from reputable sources.

Portable heater safety

  • Do not put anything on top of heaters. Never use it to dry your clothes
  • Keep your heater away from bedding, curtains and furniture
  • Never leave your heater unattended whilst in use or when you are asleep
  • Never power a heater from an extension lead - they can easily be overloaded and cause fires
  • Do not leave young children or pets unattended in areas where portable heaters are switched on
  • Keep portable heaters in a safe place, both when they’re being used and when they’re being stored.


  • Do not leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire
  • Stub cigarettes out properly, ensuring they are extinguished and use a proper ashtray
  • You should not smoke in your property. Always find an outside space away from the stairwells or building to smoke
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you are tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you have been drinking. You might fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach
  • It is safer to smoke outside. 

Smoke detectors

  • Smoke detectors can help to save lives; you must check it monthly
  • Each month press the button on your smoke alarm to check that the power supply works
  • If there is no sound, this may mean the battery is dead and/or your detector is not working. You should replace the batteries and if it still not make a sound you can contact the repairs team or the London Fire Brigade
  • If your smoke alarm goes off by mistake, do not take out the batteries. Wait for it to stop
  • Do not cover the smoke alarm - it is in place for your safety.

Communal areas

  • Exit routes and communal areas should be kept clear at all times. If there is a fire or any other emergency, you will need to get out quickly and safely
  • You cannot keep buggies, bicycles or any other household goods in any communal area, as they are fire hazards
  • It is noted within your tenancy agreement that items are not to be stored in communal areas. You must remove any items immediately if you are told to do so by a member of staff. Enforcements and action will be taken for those that do not comply
  • Do not keep communal doors prompt open
  • You cannot have barbeques on your balcony or communal area as this is a fire hazard
  • Mobility scooters are not permitted to be charged or stored in communal areas. For more information on this, please contact your neighborhood housing officer.