Advice from Chief Fire Officer Stewart Edgar QFSM to concerned high-rise residents in Gloucestershire following fire at Grenfell Towers London

What has happened at Grenfell Towers West London on the 14th June 2017 was truly tragic and our thoughts go out to all of those affected. The crews from London Fire Brigade with all other emergency services worked tirelessly to deal with the incident and I would like to offer my support and gratitude to them during this testing time.

In Gloucestershire there are a small number of medium and high rise buildings. Our local fire crews and fire safety enforcement teams are familiar with these premises and work closely with owners and occupiers to ensure the safety of all residents.

Residents should note that fires of this nature are extremely rare. High-rise buildings are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke and provide a safe means of escape for occupants and most fires are contained within the room of origin.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will continue working with residents and businesses to ensure our communities are as safe as they can possibly be.

Advice for people living in high-rise accommodation:

* Make an escape plan so that you and your family are fully prepared if there's a fire in your flat.

* Make sure you have working smoke alarms and test them at least once a month.

* Make sure exits are kept clear of obstructions and doors to stairways are not damaged or faulty.

* If it is too dangerous to follow your escape route because the stairs and hallways are filled with smoke, ring 999 and stay inside the safest room. Keep the door closed and use towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to block the smoke.

* If you're trapped, go to the balcony but don't think about jumping. Wait for the fire and rescue service.

* Use the stairs, not the lift, when leaving the building in the event of a fire.

* If there's a fire in another flat in the building, you're usually safest in your own home, unless you're affected by the heat or smoke.

* In the event of a fire, never assume that someone else has called 999.

* Never tamper with internal fire mains (dry riser) inlets on landings. These provide water to firefighters when there is an emergency. It could cost lives if they are not working properly when there is a fire.

* If you see a dry riser vandalised or damaged, report it immediately to the manager of the building.

* Never park so you block access to high-rise flats. Access roads are designed so that fire engines can get as close as possible to fight fires.

* Please don't start cooking if you are very tired or have consumed a lot of alcohol.

* If you smoke, make sure you put your cigarettes out properly, and don't smoke in bed.

If you still have any concerns, you can request a FREE, Safe and Well home safety check which can be arranged by phoning 0800 180 41 40 or clicking this link

Stewart Edgar QFSM
Chief Fire Officer
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service