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Being Stair Smart

Hi everyone and welcome to the latest blog update from Robert Richards Associates Limited.

As the COVID-19 measures continue to affect us all, we thought this would be a good time to continue with our safety theme. This time we’re concentrating on common stairs.

Do you live in accommodation where you share a common stair with the people around you?

If you do, then you may find the following information and tips helpful, now and for the future.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent a fire occurring in my stair?

  • Ensure all access doors are secure when exiting and entering the block to stop unauthorised persons entering
  • Do not store combustibles on landings or on the stairwell itself, as this provides fuel for opportunistic wilful fire raisers
  • Do not block travel paths on landings and stairwells with items such as bikes, buggies, furniture etc.

If there was a fire in your stair, would you know what to do?

Hopefully, you will never experience this situation but if you do, improving your knowledge will help to keep you safe by making the right, informed decisions, should the need arise.

Most people live perfectly safe lives. Dangerous situations rarely, if ever, occur. However, if you live in a common stair, this communal environment can present its’ own risks. You shouldn’t worry too much but there are certain things you should be aware of and bear in mind. It may not necessarily be a problem of your own making and yet you’ll find yourself having to make the right decisions at the right time.

Having an Action Plan in an emergency situation is really important. You and everyone you share your home with should know what to do.


  • If you suspect a fire situation is developing, you should immediately dial 999 and ask for “FIRE”. Give as much precise and relevant information as you can.
  • You should only make your way outside if it is safe to leave the building.
  • Otherwise, stay in inside your flat.
  • Keep your front door closed. Hot smoke will rise up the common stair and rapidly enter any doors that are not fully shut.
  • If you can, gather all occupants in the same room, preferably at the front of the building.
  • Remember to close every door you pass through and, if you can, place items such as wet/damp towels at the base of each door to stop smoke entering the room.
  • Everyone should stay together. If you can, open a window for fresh air but don’t lean out too far.
  • When the Fire Service arrive, calmly let them know how many people are in your flat and if you are all safe. This will help them greatly in gathering information and dealing with the incident.
  • Stay calm and breathe in the fresh air from the window you’ve opened.
  • Wait for guidance from the Fire Service as to when the danger has passed and it’s safe for you to move from the room you’re in.

As we’ve said, fires in common stairs are a rare occurrence but having a definitive plan of what to do is extremely important for you and all in your household.

Stay safe, more blogs coming soon!!


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