Essex fire brigade reassures high-rise residents following Grenfell Tower blaze

PUBLISHED: 12:16 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 14 June 2017

Smoke billows from the fire that engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London. Picture: VICTORIA JONES/PA WIRE

Smoke billows from the fire that engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London. Picture: VICTORIA JONES/PA WIRE

Essex’s chief fire officer has moved to reassure residents living in high-rise buildings in the county that incidents such as fatal blaze at Grenfell Tower in London are “extremely rare”.

There are 121 such buildings in Essex, according to the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS).

Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said: “Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this tragic incident as well as our emergency services colleagues who are working together in extremely challenging conditions to save lives and prevent further harm.

• Read the latest from the Grenfell Tower fire here

Acting chief fire officer Adam Eckley. Picture: ECFRSActing chief fire officer Adam Eckley. Picture: ECFRS

“It would be wrong to speculate about the cause of the fire until a full investigation has been carried out. However, what we know at this time is incidents of this type are extremely rare, and it is likely to be one of the worst in our country’s history.

“We have 121 high-rise buildings in Essex, and it is vital that people who live in those buildings know exactly what to do in the event of a fire so that they can protect themselves and their families.”

Advice from ECFRS for high-rise residents is, if their flat is on fire, to get out closing doors behind you, stay out and call 999, and activate the fire alarm if it is safe to do so.

If there is a fire in another flat, residents should stay put unless advised by firefighters, to close doors and windows, and to call 999 – never assume someone else has done so.

If trapped in your flat by fire, move everyone to the safest room – furthest from the smoke/heat entry point is best – and dial 999 with your flat and floor number.

If the brigade needs to fully evacuate the building they will knock door to door.

The brigade is also again urging people to have at least one smoke alarm fitted, to test the batteries regularly, and to keep exit routes clear.

ECFRS offers free home safety visits, including fitting a smoke alarm, and also runs a match-funding ‘Think Sprinkler’ scheme to help fund installation of sprinklers in buildings with vulnerable people.

For all the high-rise information visit the brigade’s specific web page.
To book a home safety visit, call 0300 303 0088 or visit the online booking page.

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