Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is providing advice and reassurance to residents who may be concerned about the safety of high-rise buildings following the fire at Grenfell Tower in London.
Although Sefton Council doesn’t own any high rise buildings they are keen to share the advice.
Merseyside Fire & Rescue carry out a risk-based inspection programme of all premises, including high-rise residential premises, to ensure that they comply with current legislation. They also carry out regular training exercises in high-rise buildings to make sure people are ready to deal with fires of this type.
The advice for residents living in high-rise accommodation is:
Know Your Escape Plan
- Make sure you are familiar with emergency evacuation procedures provided by the landlord or owner for your building.
- Make an escape plan so that you and your family know what to do if there is a fire in your flat.
- Practice this plan, make sure everyone understands it and knows where the door key is.
Should a fire Break Out
- If it is too dangerous to follow your planned escape route because stairs and hallways are full of smoke, ring 999 and stay inside the safest room. Keep the doors closed and use towels or bedding to block the smoke at the bottom of the door.
- Use the stairs, not the lift, when leaving the building in the event of a fire.
- If there is a fire in another flat in the building, you are usually safest in your own home unless you are affected by the heat or smoke.
- If there is a fire, never assume that someone else has called 999 – make the call yourself.
Fire safety in your Building
- Keep exits and passageways clear of any obstructions.
- Ensure doors to stairways are not damaged or faulty and report any defects promptly to the landlord or owner for your building.
- Close all internal doors at night to prevent the spread of fire.
- Never tamper with internal fire mains (dry riser) inlets on landings. These provide water to firefighters in an emergency and could cost lives if not functioning properly.
- If you see a dry riser vandalised, report it immediately to the landlord or owner for your 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 fire engines can get as close as possible to fight fires.
- Don’t start cooking if you are very tired or have drank a lot of alcohol- never use chip pans, use oven chips instead.
- If you smoke, make sure you put cigarettes out properly, and don’t smoke in bed or while sleepy.
- Check your smoke alarms regularly.
If family members have any concerns over elderly or vulnerable relatives living in high rise premises then call Fire Service Direct 0800 731 5958 or email firstname.lastname@example.org