High-rise residents in Northampton urged to book a free home fire safety check

Newlife Building 2.
Newlife Building 2.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is urging people living in high-rise buildings to book a free home fire safety check following the Grenfell Tower fire in June.

As part of its fire safety and public reassurance work, NFRS staff have been conducting door-to-door visits to high rise buildings in the county to offer residents free advice on home fire safety.

Despite repeated visits, uptake on the offer remains at approximately 60 per cent and the service is keen to let residents know the checks can be tailored to suit specific circumstances and needs.

NFRS area manager Mark Ainge said: “Our teams are very keen to engage with people to provide free advice about keeping you, your family and friends and your home safe from fire.

“We’re very keen to get uptake on home fire safety checks to 100 per cent and we want to stress that these visits are purely intended to provide help and advice in a friendly way.

“If a previous call to your flat has been at an inconvenient time for you, or you have specific needs, please do make contact so we can arrange a visit to suit your circumstances.”

On January 10, earlier this year, more than 40 firefighters were called to tackle the flames on the fifth floor of the 11-storey Newlife Building 2 in Lower Cross Street.

On the night, up to 80 residents had to be evacuated from the PA Housing tower block. But despite extensive damage, only two people were not able to return to their apartment.

Many fires happen at night when most people are sleeping, NFRS says. Working smoke alarms should wake residents if a fire does break out, but homeowners can further reduce their risk by carrying out some simple checks before going to bed.

The authority has also issued a bedroom checklist for residents to run-through before they go to sleep:

CLOSE INSIDE DOORS at night to stop a fire from spreading

SWITCH OFF and unplug electrical appliances that don’t need to be used

SWITCH OFF mobile phones and tablet computers chargers

CHECK your cooker is switched off

SWITCH OFF the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher

PUT OUT candles, incense sticks and oil burners before you to sleep

PUT OUT cigarettes and double check them, it's best to wet them to be sure

CHECK your escape routes are clear

CHECK door and window keys are easy to find in an emergency

MAKE SURE mobility aids are close to hand for those who require them

Residents who would prefer to conduct their own fire safety check can find information about how to carry this out on the NFRS website.

Information on home fire safety checks can be found at www3.northamptonshire.gov.uk/councilservices/northamptonshire-fire-and-rescue-service/safety/Pages/home-safety.aspx .

Visits can also be requested by calling 0300 1261000 and selecting option 5.