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Fire safety - general

What should I do if there's a fire in my home?

  • Let everyone in your home know that there’s a smoke alarm going off and make your way to your escape route
  • Close the fire doors behind you to stop the fire from spreading
  • Crawl along the floor if there’s smoke – the air will be clearer
  • Once you’re safe outside, call 999 for the fire service
Fire safety in the home

We have a legal duty to make sure a fire risk assessment is carried out to identify and remove any fire risks and hazards, or to reduce these as far as possible.

All Berneslai Homes properties have an up to date fire risk assessment completed by an independent qualified assessor. These are reviewed annually, and you can request a copy of one for your address.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire in your home.


  • Test your smoke alarms regularly
  • Plan an escape route and make sure everyone in the home knows how to get out in the event of a fire
  • Keep your home tidy and access to doors and windows clear*

In the kitchen

  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Double check that the oven/ hob is off when you’ve finished cooking
  • Keep things like matches, lighters, and hot pans out of the reach of children
  • Keep the oven, hob, and grill clean - a build up of fat and grease can easily catch fire
  • Avoid cooking if you’re tired, have been drinking alcohol, or you’re taking medication that might make you drowsy

Electrical appliances and heaters

  • Don’t overload electric sockets
  • Don’t charge things like mobile phones, tablets, and e-cigs overnight or longer than the recommended charging time
  • Keep clothes well away from heaters and fires

* If you, or someone you know is struggling with hoarding, support is available. See below.  

Fire Safety
Test your smoke alarms regularly

Test your alarms every week

Don't overload sockets or leave things charging overnight

Don't overload your sockets

Take extra care when cooking

Take extra care in the kitchen

Keep your home free from clutter and keep access clear

Avoid clutter and blocked access

Prepare an escape plan

We hope you'll never experience a fire in your home, but it's good to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Think about how you would get out of the property in the event of a fire. Your escape plan is usually your normal way out of the house, so keep those exits clear. Make sure everyone else in your household knows what the escape plan is.

Keep doors and windows clear where everyone can get to them.

Keep fire doors closed as they help to slow down the spread of the fire and give you extra time to get out.

Carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke alarms

As your landlord, we’re required to install a CO alarm in each room containing a fossil fuel burning appliance (excluding gas cookers) and a smoke alarm on each floor of a property. All Berneslai Homes properties are fitted with carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke alarms.

How to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

It’s important that you test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure that they’re working properly.

The easiest way to test an alarm is to press the button on it so that the alarm goes off. If it makes a noise and sounds like an alarm, then you know it’s working correctly.

Test your alarms at least once a month (we recommend weekly) to make sure they’re working. If you don’t think they’re working properly, then please give us a call on 01226 787878 so we can replace them for you.

Fire risks caused by hoarding

Hoarding can significantly increase the chances of having a fire which can lead to serious injuries and damage to property.

Hoarding can make it much harder to escape a fire, where fire exits are blocked by large amounts of clutter and can also increase the speed at which fire spreads.

  • Fire can spread quicker
  • Smoke can develop and fill a house much quicker
  • Escape routes can be blocked – making it harder to get out
  • Hoarded materials that are flammable increase the risk of a fire starting
  • It’s much harder for firefighters to search a property and find people inside
Hoarding increases the risk of fire in the home

Person-centred fire risk assessment

Berneslai Homes can carry out a person-centred fire risk assessment in your home, which will identify any risks and provide fire safety and best practice advice to minimise a fire occurring in your home.

These are carried out for tenants considered to be at higher risk should a fire break out in their home, including tenants with a disability or physical impairment, who are hearing impaired, hoarding, heavy smokers, and so on.

If you feel you would benefit from this, please contact your Neighbourhood Officer or South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue directly.

Book a home safety visit with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

More information about safety in the home

Registered address:

10th floor, Gateway Plaza, off Sackville St, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2RD

Berneslai Homes Limited is a company controlled by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 4548803