Council housing evacuation procedures

The Council has completed fire risk assessments of all council blocks and undertakes frequent checks to ensure that residents are safe in their homes.  You can find information on fire risk assessments carried out by the Council by visiting our fire risk assessment webpages.

Evacuation procedures for council blocks

All council blocks have either a localised evacuation procedure or a simultaneous evacuation procedure.

All council tenants and leaseholders should have received a booklet explaining the procedure that applies to their block. If you have not received a booklet, please request one by emailing: firesafety@rbkc.gov.uk. Please include your address. It is important you know which evacuation procedure applies to your block.

Localised evacuation procedure

In the event of a fire, only residents in the area of the building affected by fire or smoke, or in the area where the alarm was raised, need to evacuate. Residents in other areas do not need to leave the building.

A Local Evacuation Procedure has been chosen for buildings where compartmentation has been verified as able to contain a fire. Compartmentation means a building is divided into ‘compartments’ that are separated from one another by fire resident walls, floors, ceilings and doors. These compartments help to contain a fire in the area where it started. The external walls of buildings have also been checked to ensure that they do not pose a fire hazard.

In case of fire within your flat

  • 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 flat, ensure that you and your family immediately start evacuating.
  • Close all doors within your flat if it is safe to do so.
  • Evacuate your flat, ensuring that your flat entrance door is closed behind you.
  • When outside the building, dial 999 on a phone and ask for London Fire Brigade, giving the building address.

In case of fire elsewhere in the building

  • Leave immediately and phone London Fire Brigade by dialling 999 when outside the building. Give the address of the building and wait at a safe distance for the London Fire Brigade to arrive.
  • If you discover fire 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 block.
  • When outside the building, dial 999 and ask for the London Fire Brigade, giving the building address.
  • When London 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 unless deemed necessary as part of a Personal Evacuation Plan.

Simultaneous evacuation procedure

For blocks with a simultaneous evacuation procedure, the building’s communal alarm system will alert all residents in the event of a fire so they can evacuate the building.

In case of fire within your flat

  • 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 flat, ensure that you and your family immediately start evacuating.
  • Close all doors within your flat if it is safe to do so.
  • Evacuate your flat, ensuring that your flat entrance door is closed behind you.
  • If the communal alarm is not sounding, and there is a fire within your flat, sound the building fire alarm by breaking the red ‘break-glass’ call point.
  • When outside the building, dial 999 on a phone and ask for London Fire Brigade, giving the building address.
  • When London 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.

In case of fire elsewhere in the building

  • Leave immediately and phone London Fire Brigade by dialling 999 when outside the building. Give the address of the building and wait at a safe distance for the London Fire Brigade to arrive.
  • If you discover fire 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 block.
  • Raise the alarm by breaking a red ‘break-glass’ call point on your escape route.
  • When outside the building, dial 999 and ask for the London Fire Brigade, giving the building address.
  • When London 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 unless deemed necessary as part of a Personal Evacuation Plan.

In case of a false alarm

  • If a fire alarm activation is false, please call the Council immediately on 0800 137 111 so that we can attend to silence and reset the system.
  • Please do not re-enter the building until the alarm has been resolved and either the London Fire Brigade or a representative from the Council tells you it is safe to go back in.

What to do following a fire (all blocks)

We recognise that in the rare event of a fire these events are extremely distressing for you. We are committed to helping all our residents to recover from fire should one occur.

After the fire is extinguished by London Fire Brigade, the Council’s first role is to make sure that the building is safe to re-occupy.

Any residents affected by the fire can then be assisted in finding alternative accommodation if this is needed.

Call our customer service centre on 0800 137 111.