Lancashire fire chiefs begin safety review of high-rise buildings

Smoke and flames billowing from Grenfell Tower, London
Smoke and flames billowing from Grenfell Tower, London
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Lancashire fire chiefs have begun an immediate review of the safety of the county’s high-rise buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower inferno.

The county’s Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters and fire safety officers had been visiting all areas this week providing reassurance to the public.

“We have begun an immediate review of high rise accomodation.”

The move comes after the horrific blaze in London, where dozens of people are feared to have perished in the high-rise block of flats.

Lancashire fire and rescue service said there were 73 premises (residential and non-residential) listed as high rise (six floors and above).

Sixty six of those are residential, either students’ halls of residence or occupied by the general public.

All have had a fire safety audit between 2010 and 2017.

A spokesman said: “Our firefighters and community fire safety staff have been out and about in all areas, reassuring the public, providing face-to-face guidance on key messages in respect of fire plans, the use of lifts, evacuation, smoke alarms and dialling 999. Additionally, we have begun an immediate review of the high rise accommodation fire safety provision in Lancashire, regardless of how recently they were last audited.”

The service said the “Stay Put” policy for emergencies was an accepted standard for high rise premises and complies with current guidance.

“The design of the type of building where it applies is such that a fire in a flat should not break out of where it started and spread to other flats or common areas in the building, such as corridors or staircases.

“The intention is that those in the flat where the fire has occurred, alerted by smoke detection in their flat, will escape and firefighters will attack the fire.

“If all residents evacuated at once, the resulting congestion on the staircases in the building would dangerously hinder their escape and would compromise access for firefighters headed for the fire.”

If the fire plan for the building is not “Stay Put”, the advice is simply: Get Out and Stay Out.