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Press Release - Check your communal escape routes are clear of clutter this Christmas
Posted on 04/12/2018

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are reminding all residents who live in flats and buildings with communal escape routes that they must be kept clear of storage of any type and size. Clutter, whether it’s discarded Christmas trees and packaging or year round hazards such as buggies, bikes, mattresses and potted plants, can block residents’ fire escape routes and hamper our firefighters when tackling the fire. They are often the cause of fires in the first place.

Ensuring all passages and corridors (escape routes) are clear of clutter is an ongoing issue within communal properties at any time of year. But over the Christmas period this can be even more of a problem.

Business Safety Manager, Paul Bray explained: "We all know what it’s like to be drowning in discarded boxes and wrapping paper after Christmas but leaving that rubbish to block stairways and corridors is a fire hazard which puts lives at risk.

"This can be a big problem for our crews at this time of year. As well as providing fuel for fires, Christmas rubbish and other items such as pushchairs or bikes left to block communal areas will become a dangerous obstacle that can slow down firefighters trying to reach a fire and save residents.

"Residents can help by not storing items in communal areas because these can cause fires that spread quickly."

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are committed to making sure the community and visitors to the area it serves are safe from fire in communal escape routes. 

What can residents do?

If any residents has concerns about clutter/storage in their means of escape, they should in the first instance raise these concerns with their neighbours. If this does not bring any results please inform your landlord or the management agency. You may also refer the matter to your local housing authority.

If for any reason you cannot speak to your neighbour or landlord about Fire Safety concerns, you can contact Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service on the number or email below. All correspondence will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Contact the Fire Service

Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 17:00. Call 01392 872288 to be put through to your local fire safety team. Email

See our advice for Landlords and Letting Agents and High Rise Living

DSFRS offers advice and guidance to business and commerce and the general public on all fire safety matters. Make the call to request free Home Safety advice call free on: now 0800 05 02 999. For any other fire safety advice, contact the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue helpline on: 01392 872288 or visit our website

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