The London Fire Brigade has called on landlords to ensure residents know how to escape a blaze following more than 100 fires in high-rise flats in west London last year according to GetWestLondon.co.uk.
The Brigade has launched a major new fire safety campaign called Know the Plan, prompted by the inquest into the deaths of six people killed in the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell in 2009 .
New figures reveal there were 71 fires in flats within blocks of six-storeys or more in Westminster last year, 21 in Hammersmith and Fulham and 16 in Kensington and Chelsea.
Daryll Stroud, Westminster’s fire chief, said: “We are working closely with landlords and housing providers in the borough who are responsible for flats and maisonettes in purpose built blocks – including low-rise and high-rise buildings – to ensure that they know their responsibilities and that their residents are safe and understand what to do in a fire.
“Living in a flat is not more dangerous than living in a house, but it’s important to know that your fire plan should be different. Flats and maisonettes are built to give you some protection from fire. Walls, floors and doors will hold back flames and smoke for a time.
“If there is a fire elsewhere in the building but not inside your home, you’re usually safer staying in your flat unless heat or smoke is affecting you.”
A YouGov poll found that a quarter of Londoners live in high-rise or other purpose built blocks of flats, but just 40 per cent had an escape plan in the event of a fire.
And worryingly, 24 per cent of people living in flats said if there was a fire in their home, they would wait to call 999 before getting straight out.
A dedicated website – www.knowtheplan.co.uk – tells tenants and landlords what to do in the event of a fire, how to keep escape routes clear in communal areas, and how to prevent fires, or alternatively call us on 0203 4787347 or contact us online for free impartial advice.