As a landlord, Perth & Kinross Council has a legal duty to ensure that communal areas within blocks of flats are kept free from stored combustible items to reduce the risk of fire and to prevent obstruction the escape routes during emergency situations.
Tenants and residents of all blocks have a responsibility to keep communal areas clear at all times.
Items such as prams, baby buggies, sofas, furniture, washing machines, and bags of rubbish that are often left in the communal areas of blocks are a fire risk. Ignition of such items poses the threat of fire and serious danger to all occupants within the block.
The Council's Area Housing Teams and Safer Communities Wardens have been issued with the special 'fire hazard tape' which they use to mark any items they find that pose a fire risk by blocking an escape route from a block of flats, or items that would make access difficult for the emergency services. The brightly-coloured tape is intended to highlight these dangers to tenant and residents.
The tape is designed to fit around items left in closes and advises the residents who abandoned them to dispose of them properly. Importantly the tape also reminds people of the very real fire dangers caused by these items.
When the Council notices such items left in communal areas, tenants and residents of the block will be asked to remove them. If they are not removed then further action will be taken. The Council will remove the items, and the cost will be recharged to tenants/residents who dumped them.
The overall message to all residents is do not leave household items in communal blocks or residential areas. If you have an unwanted sofa or washing machine you can arrange special uplifts for bulky items by calling the Council on 01738 476476. Alternatively, you can dispose of them at your local recycling centre. You should also store prams and buggies inside your flat.
All secure entry doors to blocks should be kept closed at all times to maintain security and reduce fire risk.
If you are concerned about items that have been left in your block of flats that you feel may represent a fire hazard you can report it your local Area Housing Office on 01738 465000 (option 2) or email HCCInfo@pkc.gov.uk
What to do in the event of a fire in your block
If a fire occurs in your flat, you should alert other people in the flat, make your way out of the building and call the Fire and Rescue Service using 999.
Other tenants or occupants not directly affected by the fire would be expected to 'stay put' within their dwelling and remain there unless directed to leave by the fire and rescue services. This does not imply that those not directly affected who wish to evacuate the building should be prevented in doing so if they feel threatened by the fire at any point.