Fire safety in communal areas

If you live in a block of flats or a similar shared building, Sovereign is responsible for the communal areas (unless these are looked after by a management company instead) and we have a duty to make sure that you have a clear escape route in an emergency. This means that we have to be strict about what is left outside of your home. 

For blocks which we’re responsible for, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires us to carry out a risk assessment which considers escape routes including communal areas and stairways. 

Our policy is that you must not use the communal areas to store any possessions, to dump unwanted goods or for decorative items outside your front door. This includes bicycles or pushchairs. 

The law around risk requires us to make sure that, if there was a fire in your block, there would be nothing blocking your escape route - or which could give off smoke or fumes that would affect you or hinder the Fire Service in their rescue duties. 

As a resident, this means you have no right to store or display anything in the communal areas and any items which are left here will be removed without further notice if necessary. 

There may be a recharge for the removal of any items. 

Our short film with Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service vividly shows why it’s so important to keep fire doors closed and corridors clear: