Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Services issues high-rise building fire advice following Grenfell Tower blaze

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Picture: Ri

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Picture: Rick Findler/PA Wire) - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is providing advice and reassurance to people who are concerned about the safety of high-rise buildings following this morning’s fire at Grenfell Tower in London (June 14).

Chief Fire officer Chris Strickland said: “Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with everyone who has been affected by this devastating incident, especially with the families and friends of those that have lost their lives or are waiting to hear news about their loved ones.

“It would be wrong to speculate about the cause of the fire until a full investigation has been carried out by the appropriate authorities. However, what we do know is that fires of this type are extremely rare.

We work with local authorities, developers, and tenants to help ensure that the fire safety arrangements in high rise accommodation are safe and appropriate. High-rise buildings are designed to resist fire, stop the spread of smoke and provide a safe means of escape.

“It is, of course, vital that people remember exactly what to do in the event of a fire so that they can protect themselves and their families, and also that they have a working smoke alarm in their flat that they test regularly.

“I would like to assure residents that we carry out regular inspections of high-rise buildings in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and that our crews train at these locations to familiarise themselves with procedures.

“I met with our fire protection officers today and we will be revisiting the high rise buildings we do have in the coming days just to offer further reassurance to residents and to check stairwells, exit routes and firefighting equipment.

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“Any lessons learned from the investigation into today’s Grenfell Tower fire will be incorporated into planning arrangements for dealing with incidents at high-rise properties.”

Advice to residents in high rise accommodation:

• If there is a fire inside your flat, you should alert all the people in your flat and leave, closing 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 it is too dangerous to follow your escape route because the 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 block the smoke.

• If you’re trapped, go to the balcony - but don’t think about jumping. Wait for the fire and rescue service.

• If there is a fire elsewhere in the building then the structure of your flat - walls, floors and doors are designed to give you a minimum of 30-60 minutes’ protection from a fire.

• If there is a fire in your building but not inside your own home, then you are usually safer to stay in your flat unless the heat or smoke from the fire is affecting you. If you stay put you should still immediately call 999 and advise the fire service where in the building you are.

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