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Fire advice from the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service

Fire advice from the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service:

In the wake of the large-scale fire at Grenfell Tower in West London today,

our thoughts go out to those affected and involved in the tragedy,

including our colleagues in London Fire Brigade who continue to work

tirelessly at the incident.

It would be inappropriate to speculate about the cause of the incident at

this time as a full investigation has yet to be undertaken by the appropriate

authorities.

Incidents of this type are very unusual, as high-rise buildings are designed to

resist and stop the spread of fire and smoke. However, we understand that

residents living and working in high-rise buildings in our communities across

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland may now have concerns regarding fire

safety in such premises. As such, we would like to provide reassurance and

advice to our communities.

We already have regularly tested procedures in place to deal with any

incidents involving high-rise buildings and undertake regular training to

practise these procedures and implement any learning outcomes.

We have an extensive knowledge of all the high-rise buildings (five floors

and above) across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and continuously

work with our partners (landlords, local authorities etc.) to embed fire safety

prevention and protection work.

However, it is vital that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire so

that they can protect themselves and their families:

• Make sure you have working smoke and/or heat detectors in your flat

• Make an escape plan so that you and your family are fully prepared

if there's a fire in your flat.

• Tell everyone in your home what the escape plan is and practise it.

• Make sure exits are kept clear of obstructions

• If it is too dangerous to follow your escape route because stairs and

hallways are filled with smoke, ring 999 and stay inside the safest

room. Keep the door closed and use towels or bedding at the

bottom of the door to prevent any smoke entering the room.

• If you're trapped, go to a balcony/window to shout for help and wait

for the fire and rescue service – DO NOT attempt to jump.

• When leaving the building in the event of a fire, use the stairs and not

the lift.

• If there’s a fire in another flat elsewhere in the building, you are

normally safest in your own flat, UNLESS you are affected by heat or

smoke in any way.

• In the event of a fire, never assume that someone else has called the

fire and rescue service. Make sure your neighbours know about the

fire. Bang on their doors on your way out and once outside, call 999.

The tragedy in London today has specifically raised concerns by members

of the public asking what is meant by a “stay put” evacuation

procedure/policy.

As a Service, we use the Government’s national guidance on the “stay put”

policy when inspecting high rise buildings and making any

recommendations to building owners/responsible persons (landlords etc.)

The guiding principles of this policy are:

• When a fire occurs in a flat, the occupants alert others inside that flat,

make their way out of the building and call the fire and rescue

service

• If a fire starts in any of the shared areas (staircase, corridors etc.)

anyone in these areas should make their way out of the building and

call the fire and rescue service

• All other residents NOT directly affected by the fire would be

expected to “stay put” and remain in their flat unless:

Smoke or heat affects their flat or

They are told to leave by the fire and rescue service

It is NOT implied that those who wish to leave the building should be

prevented from doings so. Nor does this preclude those evacuating a

flat that is on fire, from alerting their neighbours so that they can also

escape if they feel threatened.

Our advice is if you are in any doubt, GET OUT, STAY OUT and DIAL 999.

You can find further information and advice on fire safety in high-rise

properties on our website:

www.leicestershire-fire.gov.uk/your-safety/athome

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