18 June 2014
After successfully controlling and extinguishing a fire in a high rise block of flats in Sydenham, South London yesterday, London Fire Brigade’s Watch Manager Gary Bowler emphasised the importance of being aware of fire evacuation plans when living in a multiple occupancy building.
LFB recently launched the ‘Know the Plan’ campaign, aimed at tenants and landlords, designed to improve fire safety awareness among residents of high rise buildings and purpose built flats such as the one in Sydenham, and to encourage landlords and housing providers to act on their fire safety responsibilities.
“Crews worked hard to bring the fire under control and incidents like these show the importance of being aware of your fire evacuation plans, particularly if you are in high rise or purpose built flats. 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,” said Gary Bowler.”
Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers from Forest Hill, New Cross, Norbury, Orpington, and West Norwood attended the incident. A five roomed flat was badly damaged and three people who left the building before the Brigade arrived were treated for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service.
In March the FIA news team reported extensively on the ‘Know the Plan’ campaign, which was primarily aimed at the 24% of Londoners who live in high rise buildings and purpose built apartment blocks.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.