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If you live in Harrow Court, Brent Court, High Plash, High Croft or The Towers please follow the guidance below otherwise please see our Stay Put Policy

Your Building has a Simultaneous Evacuation Strategy If you live in:

  • Harrow Court
  • Brent Court
  • High Plash
  • High Croft
  • The Towers

In the event of a fire, your building’s communal alarm system will alert all residents so they can evacuate the building.

Please follow the guidance below otherwise please see our Stay Put Policy.

If you hear the communal alarm, air horn or knocking at your door, react and follow the designated means of escape to assembly point away from the building.

This guide will tell you about:

Fire prevention

Preventing fires is the best way of keeping safe. This guide explains the simple steps you can take to keep your home and your building safe.

Fire protection

Information about the checks we frequently make to ensure your building continues to offer the protection you need.

Information for disabled people

Details of the additional help we can provide to keep you safe in the event of a fire, if you have a disability.

Fire procedures

In the unlikely event of a fire, it is important that you know what to do. This section explains what to do in simple steps.

What to do after a fire

We are committed to dealing with the consequences of a fire. This section tells you what you need to do.

What the council is doing to keep you safe

More information about what we are doing to keep you safe from fire.

Fire Procedures

In the event of a fire, your building’s communal alarm system will alert all residents so they can evacuate the building. This is known as a Simultaneous Evacuation Procedure.

In case of fire within your home:

  • If you discover fire, alert other members of your household immediately and ensure that everyone is aware.
  • If you hear the fire alarm in your home, ensure that you and your family immediately start evacuating.
  • Close all doors within your home if it is safe to do so. Evacuate your home, ensuring that your home entrance door is closed behind you.
  • When outside the building, dial 999, giving the building address.
  • When Fire and Rescue Service arrive, meet them and tell them where the fire is. Do not re-enter the building until they have extinguished the fire and they have let you know that it is safe

In case of fire elsewhere in the building:

Leave immediately and phone the Fire Brigade by dialling 999 when outside the building. Give the address of the building and wait at a safe distance for the Fire Brigade to arrive.

If you discover fire elsewhere in the building or in communal areas, alert any persons in the communal areas to ensure that everyone is aware.

Close all doors within the communal areas if it is safe to do so.

Evacuate the building. 999 When outside the building, dial 999 and ask for the Fire Brigade, giving the building address. When the Fire Brigade arrive, meet them and tell them where the fire is.

Do not re-enter the building until they have extinguished the fire and they have let you know that it is safe.

Lifts should not be used

In case of a false alarm:

If a fire alarm activation is false, the fire and rescue service will still attend. A representative of the Council will also attend to silence and reset the system.

Please do not re-enter the building until the alarm has been resolved the Fire Brigade tells you it is safe to go back in

Fire Protection

Communal fire detection and alarm system

Your building has a communal alarm system, with heat and smoke detectors in each home, as well as smoke detectors in the communal areas.

The alarm will alert all residents if there is a fire anywhere in the building so that everyone has enough time to escape.

On hearing the communal alarm, you should immediately evacuate the building and not re-enter until you are told you can by the Fire Brigade or the Council.

A fire alarm panel is located in the entrance area to the building.

If at any stage there is a fault warning or beeping, please let the Council know immediately by calling 01438 242242.

Do not interfere with fire detection and alarm system equipment or cover any detectors.

This equipment is vital for the protection of all residents within the building


Your building is built using fire-resisting walls and floors around homes.

These, along with your home entrance fire door, will contain a fire to the home in which it starts for a period of time while you escape.

Do not allow anyone to create holes in your home walls or floors and report any holes to the Council for repair.

Sprinklers / Fire Suppression

Sprinkler fire suppression systems play a crucial role in enhancing fire safety in flats.

Residents should report any damage or issues with the sprinklers to the Council promptly


  • Do keep the area around sprinkler heads clear: Ensure there is at least 18 inches of clearance around each sprinkler head to allow for proper water distribution in case of activation.
  • Do report any damage immediately: Notify the Council if you notice any damage or tampering with the sprinkler system components.
  • Do test your smoke alarms regularly: Although not directly part of the sprinkler system, functional smoke alarms provide early warning and work in tandem with the sprinklers.
  • Allow access for regular inspections: Permit access to our maintenance contractor for regular checks and testing of the sprinkler system to ensure it is in good working order.

Do not

  • Don't hang items from sprinkler heads: Avoid hanging clothes, decorations, or other items from the sprinkler heads as this can damage them and impede their function.
  • Don't block or cover sprinkler heads: Ensure that sprinkler heads are not obstructed by furniture, curtains, or other items that could prevent proper water spray.
  • Don't tamper with the system: Refrain from painting, altering, or otherwise tampering with any part of the sprinkler system.
  • Don't ignore signs of leaks: Report any leaks or drips from the sprinkler system immediately to prevent further damage or potential system failure.

Fire doors within your home

All doors within your home should provide some level of protection against fire, even if they are not designated fire doors.

Close your doors at night, particularly your kitchen and living room doors - this should hold back a fire while you escape. If a fire does occur, close all doors when you make your escape, if it is safe to do so.

Fire doors should be kept closed when not in use.

Your home entrance door

Your home entrance door is critical to containing a fire and any smoke within your home. It should help protect you and your family while you escape, and your neighbours and fire-fighters while the fire is extinguished.

It is critical that your home entrance door has a self-closing device – please inform the Council as soon as possible if this is missing or does not work so that we can repair it.

If a fire occurs in your home, make sure that when you escape, your home entrance door is closed behind you.

Do not drill through your door or frame; this will affect its ability to contain fire and smoke.

You must not change your home entrance door without first agreeing this with the Council.

Tenants must not remove or tamper with fire doors in your home, or your home entrance door.

Home entrance door checks

If you live in a building that has an upper storey that is over 11 metres, it is a legal requirement that the Council checks your fire door every year.

You must provide access to the Council to enable us to do this.

This is a requirement within the terms of your tenancy or lease agreement.

Fire doors in the common parts

Fire doors in the common parts protect staircases and other escape routes from smoke.

Do not wedge these doors open.

If the door becomes faulty, report it to the Council so that we can repair it

Statutory checks

In all buildings the council must check all communal fire safety equipment and record those checks.

Smoke alarms

All properties are supplied with a minimum of one smoke detector per floor, and a heat detector in the kitchen.

You should test your flat’s alarms, using the “test” button on each alarm, every month, to make sure it works and report any problems to the council

If you are a tenant and your home does not have a smoke alarm or if it is defective call us on 01438 242242.

If you are a leaseholder, you are responsible for the installation and maintenance of your alarms. If you rent your property, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that your property is fitted with smoke detection.

Do not remove, cover or tamper with these alarms they are there for your safety.

A free home fire safety visit from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is a good way to get expert advice on fire detection, and learn ways to stay fire safe

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service Home safety visit Fire safety home visits, school visits and open days | Hertfordshire County Council.

Smoke ventilation

In many Council owned buildings, there are windows or openings that are designed to keep escape routes clear of smoke.

These can be used by fire-fighters during a fire to keep escape routes clear.

Do not interfere with this equipment, it can be critical to keeping you, your family, your neighbours and fire-fighters safe

Escape routes

It is vitally important that everyone can escape quickly in the event of fire.

Wayfinding signs

If your building is over 11 metres tall, there is a requirement to have wayfinding signs for fire-fighters in an emergency. These signs are provided on every floor.

You must not tamper with or remove any fire notices or signs.

Planning for emergencies with your family

The best way to prepare yourself for a fire is to have a clear plan in your mind of what you will do if a fire does occur.

Think about who you will help first – will this be your children, or an elderly relative?

What will you do about any pets?

Planning for your evacuation can make the process much quicker and safer should a fire occur.

For further advice please go to the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue website: Fire Safety in your home or workplace | Hertfordshire County Council

Secure Information Boxes

The council has provided secure information boxes (SIBs) in all of our buildings over 11 metres. These large red boxes outside your buildings entrance contain information for use by fire-fighters in an emergency

Information for Disabled People

The council recognise that disabled people may be particularly vulnerable during a fire, and we are committed to helping to plan for the safety of all our residents. Some residents may have difficulty in physically travelling to escape from a fire within their home. We recognise that some people have additional needs and require further support to understand what to do in the event of a fire. For anyone that needs help or support, the Council will arrange to:

Carry out a Person Centred Fire Risk Assessment (PCFRA), where we will discuss your needs with you and decide how best to help you keep safe from fire.

We are here to help; please let us know if you need support or if your condition changes by contacting or by phone 01438 242242

Fire prevention

The best way to avoid a fire is to ensure that fire prevention measures in your home and in your building are effective. For more fire prevention information please visit the Fire Safety page.

Work to keep you safe

The council is carrying out a programme of fire safety checks and improvement works.

These include:

  • Upgrading our tenants flat entrance doors to new FD30S – Certified 30-minute doors where necessary.
  • Replacing communal fire doors.
  • Replacing door entry systems.
  • Fire Stopping works.
  • Carrying out regular fire risk assessments and reviews.
  • Carrying out regular fire door and housekeeping checks.
  • Carrying out testing and maintenance of relevant fire safety equipment.

We are here to help with this. If you have any concerns, please contact our fire safety team by emailing or by calling 01438 242242. You can also report concerns to your Housing Officer.