10:32AM, Thursday 15 June 2017
Advice has been issued by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service for people concerned about the safety of high-rise buildings following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.
The fire service has moved to reassure residents after a fire broke out in the west London tower block yesterday morning. A total of 12 people have been confirmed dead, with the number of fatalities expected to rise.
Area manager Mark Gaskarth, who is responsible for fire safety with the service, said: "Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.
"Our colleagues in London Fire Brigade have been working incredibly hard and our thoughts are with them as well. It would be wrong to speculate about the cause of the fire until a full investigation has been carried out. While these incidents are rare, it is important at this stage to focus on those affected and also ensuring our residents feel safe."
People living in high-rise flats have been advised to make sure they have smoke alarms fitted, take fire safety precautions and know their escape route and what to do if there is a fire inside their home or somewhere else in the building.
If a fire breaks out in your flat, alert all the people in the flat and leave, closing doors behind you.
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.
The fire service said if there is a fire elsewhere in the building, the structure of your flat – walls, floors, doors – are designed to give you a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes’ protection. If there is a fire in your building but not inside your own home, 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.
Once firefighters arrive at a fire, the advice above may be reinforced or changed depending on the nature of the fire, the building and its tenants.
The fire service said it works with local authorities, developers, and tenants to help ensure that the fire safety arrangements in high-rise accommodation are safe and appropriate. Crews train to ensure they are familiar with high-rise buildings in our area and what action to take in the event of a fire.
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