Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Fire Service Target Flats to Ensure Public Safety

Following a number of recent fatal flat fires nationally, including a fire in a block of flats in Southampton that resulted in the tragic death of two firefighters, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has launched a campaign of fire safety inspections in flats across the county.

Officers from the Fire Safety Enforcement Team will be working across all six Gloucestershire districts. They will be examining the fire safety standards in flats, ensuring escape routes are clear and alarm systems meet the necessary standards. Officers will also be offering advice to residents, to ensure families are safe in their homes.

Andy Gillingham, station commander, said: "My team is responsible for enforcing fire safety within the escape routes in flats and often we find combustible materials in corridors and stairways which are a recipe for disaster. Owners of blocks of flats have a legal responsibility to ensure their properties are properly managed and are safe for occupants."

Jon Hall, chief fire officer, said: "Gloucestershire does not want a repeat of tragedies we have seen in other parts of the country. Our Enforcement Team is rightly targeting these buildings to ensure they are safe and will not hesitate to prosecute those who don't comply with the law."

Cllr Will Windsor Clive, cabinet member for community safety, said: "A fire in a flat or in the shared areas between flats can have tragic consequences for a number of households. It is essential landlords comply with the law to protect people."

ENDS

For more information on fire safety at home or at work go to www.direct.gov.uk/firekills www.glosfire.gov.uk or ring 0800 180 41 40 to arrange a visit.

Issued by: Sarah Wood, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 425093

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12th June 2013