There is a danger that bad decisions made during an emergency can make things worse. There was a Luton fire earlier this month in a block of flats and although the fire did not effect any of the other flats in the block, a man from the flat above the effected flat climbed out onto a roof and was handed a baby. He later had to be rescued with an aerial platform.
This incident puts some thoughts in mind that we would like to discuss but in doing so we are not passing any criticism on anyone involved in this fire as we do not know any more than we have shared.
Decisions made under pressure are not always the best which is why businesses and blocks of flats should have a previously worked out emergency and escape plan that is clearly communicated and displayed so that all residents, employees and visitors know what to do if a fire occurs.
Blocks of flats should be very well compartmentalised so that walls, floors and doors take a long time to burn through and so that smoke cannot pass from one area to another. For this reason it should be safe for other residents to leave via fire exits or even main staircases before a fire can get out of control. The station commander Lorraine Moore said: “Our advice is that if you live in a block of flats, and your flat is not affected by fire or smoke it is safer for you to remain in your flat. Firefighters will assess whether any other flats need to be evacuated and if so, will ensure that this is carried out. Once the fire is extinguished they will clear the corridors of any smoke that may have entered them.”
If you are a landlord who runs a block of flats and you need advice, please feel free to give us a call.
If you are a resident in a block of flats make sure you know your emergency plan and that you discuss it with any family or cohabitants.