Fire Brigade issues safety advice for tower block residents

The Croydon Council website tonight published this statement from the London Fire Brigade in relation to safety issues around residential tower blocks:

Real heroes: firefighters at Kensington yesterday

“At this stage we do not know yet what caused the fire. We do not know where it started and we do not know why it spread in the way that it did.

“If you live in a high-rise property you are not at more risk of a fire starting. Our advice is that people who live in high-rise properties, purpose-built flats or maisonettes, aside from having a smoke alarm and taking fire safety precautions, is to make sure you know the escape route and what to do if there is a fire inside your home or somewhere else in the building.

“The fire and rescue service works with local authorities, developers, and tenants to help ensure that the fire safety arrangements in high-rise accommodation is safe and appropriate.

“The advice provided by fire services is based on effective fire safety arrangements that are required, proposed, and then provided in the building – these will include compartmentation of the building and means of escape.

“If there is a fire inside your flat or maisonette our advice is to alert all the people in your flat and leave, closing your doors behind you. You should follow your escape plan and if there is lots of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air should be clearer. Always use the stairs rather than the lift and call 999 as soon as you are in a safe place.

“If there is a fire elsewhere in the building then the structure of the building – walls, floors, doors – are designed to give you a minimum of 30-60 minutes’ protection from a fire to enable you to remain in your flat whilst it is dealt with by the Fire Service. If there is a fire elsewhere in your building then you are usually safer to stay in your flat unless the heat or smoke from the fire is affecting you, in which case you can leave via the stairs if safe to do so. If it is not safe to leave and you do remain in your flat call 999 and tell them which flat you are in.”

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3 Responses to Fire Brigade issues safety advice for tower block residents

  1. As usual the consequences for those with disabilities that make use of stairs either very difficult of impossible are overlooked. Fire resistant doors are of little use unless they are also smoke proof. Escape chairs are needed in stair wells. Corridors and stairs should also have smoke proof doors that self close when fire or smoke is detected. Door closers need to be capable of being opened by the elderly and disabled. All these are set out in Building Regulations, yet in over 30 years as a Health & Safety Officer inspecting buildings, I have rarely come across any buildings (even new Council offices) that comply with the Building Regulations on fire safety (or accessibility).

    More Fire lifts are needed so disabled and others can use lifts to escape once fire alarms go off, although costs usually mean these are only in high value or very tall buildings. Sprinklers in common areas should be standard in all high buildings but are sadly still very rare. Hopefully more attention will be paid to putting these defects right in our blocks of flats (in most boroughs) than following similar incidents previously.

  2. Anne Collingwood says:

    Goes into Croydon’s clad tower flats and Barwell’s inability to look into it….

    Sent from my iPad


  3. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    Good advice

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