Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service issue safety tips following Grenfell Tower incident

The responsibility for fire safety in high-rise tower blocks is held by the responsible persons, for example, landlords, building owners or a management agent, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue says.

Friday, 16th June 2017, 2:23 pm
Updated Monday, 19th June 2017, 12:48 pm
NFRS have urged residents to make an escape plan so people are fully prepared if there is a fire in their flat. Credit: Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

In the light of the Grenfell Tower fire, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue has reissued life-saving advice to concerned residents who live in high-rise flats in the town.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) follows a residential inspection programme, which includes visits to the communal areas of tower block dwellings and works with the landlords to check on building fire safety.

A spokesperson for NFRS said: "We have all seen the distressing images of the very serious fire in the Grenfell Tower block in West London.

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"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those that have been affected by this incident."

For people living in apartments or flats, NFRS have provided fire safety tips to follow-through in terms of creating an escape plan:

- Make an escape plan so that you and your family are fully prepared if there is a fire in your flat.

- Tell everyone in your home what the escape plan is and where the door key is. Practice what you would do if you had a real fire.

- Make sure exits are kept clear of obstructions and doors to stairways are not damaged or faulty.

In the event of a fire, if it is too dangerous to for residents to follow their escape route because the stairs and hallways are filled with smoke, NFRS have urged residents to ring 999 and stay inside the safest room.

The fire and rescue service advises residents to keep the door closed and to use towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to block the smoke.

If residents find themselves trapped they should go to the balcony or window - but don't think about jumping - instead wait for the fire and rescue service.

In the event of a fire, never assume that someone else has called 999. Make sure your neighbours know about the fire. Bang on their doors on your way out, the service says.

It is also advised that residents use the stairs, and not the lift when leaving the building in the event of a fire.

If there is a fire in another flat in the building, occupants are usually safest in their own home, unless they are affected by the heat or smoke.

In terms of awareness and prevention NFRS have issused the following commands:

-Never tamper with internal fire mains (dry riser) inlets on landings. These provide water to firefighters when there is an emergency. It could cost lives if they are not working properly when there is a fire.

- If you see a dry riser vandalised or damaged, report it immediately to the manager of the building.

- Never use or store bottled gas cylinders in high-rise flats.

- Never park so you block access to high-rise flats. Access roads are designed so that fire engines can get as close as possible to fight fires.

- Please do not start cooking if you are very tired or have consumed a lot of alcohol.

- If you smoke, make sure you put your cigarettes out properly, and don't smoke in bed.