Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is sharing the latest advice from the Government in relation to fire safety issues affecting blocks of flats, following the fire in Barking, London, earlier this month.
The fire on Sunday, 9 June, in London was dealt with by around 100 firefighters from London Fire Brigade and resulted in two people being treated for smoke inhalation.
This week, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government released a new advice note as part of the Building Safety Programme relating to materials used on balconies on residential buildings.
The advice note, which is endorsed by an Expert Panel, recommends that: “the removal and replacement of any combustible material is the clearest way to prevent external fire spread from balconies” and recommends that where combustible materials are present they should be replaced as soon as possible. In the meantime steps should be taken to understand the risks and minimise them.
The note makes clear that building owners should keep residents informed of the risks related to the presence of combustible materials on balconies and steps to be taken to minimise the risk of a fire.
Tony Hunter, GMFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director of Prevention and Protection said: “We will work with residents and those responsible for buildings to understand the risk and provide advice on how to minimise the risk of a fire occurring.
“This is a good opportunity to remind all residents living in flats how to keep themselves safe from fire, and to know what to do if a fire did occur in their flat or elsewhere in the building.
“If you have a fire keep calm and act quickly – get everyone out of the property call 999 and follow the procedures for your building.
“If you have concerns about balconies on your building in the first instance contact your Landlord or the Managing Agent for your building.”
To stay safe at home:
- Take care when cooking, never leave unattended and ensure your cooker is turned off after use
- Test your smoke alarm once a week by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds
- Keep doorways, hallways and communal areas free from clutter
- Close all doors at night to prevent fire from spreading
- If you smoke always make sure you extinguish your cigarettes safely
- Make sure you know what the emergency procedures are for your building
For further safety advice to keep you safe at home visit: https://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/staying-safe/what-we-do/fire-safety-at-home/
To reduce the risk of fire on a balcony:
- Do not use BBQs under any circumstances
- Never store flammable materials like gas on your balcony
- Reduce clutter and try and keep items on the balcony to a minimum
- If you smoke make sure you stub cigarettes out and NEVER flick them off your balcony
We are also inviting residents in High Rise buildings to attend the next Greater Manchester High Rise Task Force Residents’ Forum at 6.00pm, on Thursday, 11 July, at GFMRS’ Training and Development Centre, Cassidy Close, Manchester. More details here.
To book a free Safe and Well visit (https://manchesterfire.gov.uk/staying-safe/what-we-do/safe-and-well-visit/) please call 0800 555 815.
28/06/2019 15:33 PM