Statement from Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning
On behalf of the people of Croydon we want to offer our deepest sympathies to all those affected by the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower. Unfortunately the number of casualties is likely to rise and we know that the consequences will be felt for many years to come.
We would like to put on record our thanks to all Croydon fire service colleagues who joined the heroic London-wide effort to tackle the blaze and save people’s lives.
We would like to reassure tenants and residents that we are working closely with London Fire Brigade to make sure that all council housing stock continues to meet fire safety standards. As a result of this week’s fire in Kensington we have also launched a further full review of all our housing blocks. This will involve independent testing, both external and internal, and safety checks.
We know that many of you will want to offer your support to the victims of this terrible tragedy. A fundraising page has been set up for those who would like to make a donation at www.justgiving.com/kandcfoundation
Statement by London Fire Brigade
At this stage we do not know yet what caused the fire. We do not know where it started and we do not know why it spread in the way that it did.
If you live in a high rise property you are not at more risk of a fire starting. Our advice is that people who live in high rise properties/purpose build flats or maisonettes, aside from having a smoke alarm and taking fire safety precautions, is to make sure you know the escape route and what to do if there is a fire inside your home or somewhere else in the building.
The fire and rescue service works with local authorities, developers, and tenants to help ensure that the fire safety arrangements in high rise accommodation is safe and appropriate.
The advice provided by fire services is based on effective fire safety arrangements that are required, proposed, and then provided in the building – these will include compartmentation of the building and means of escape.
If there is a fire inside your flat or maisonette our advice is to alert all the people in your flat and leave, closing your doors behind you. You should follow your escape plan and if there is lots of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air should be clearer. Always use the stairs rather than the lift and call 999 as soon as you are in a safe place.
If there is a fire elsewhere in the building then the structure of the building – walls, floors, doors – are designed to give you a minimum of 30-60 minutes’ protection from a fire to enable you to remain in your flat whilst it is dealt with by the Fire Service. If there is a fire elsewhere in your building then you are usually safer to stay in your flat unless the heat or smoke from the fire is affecting you, in which case you can leave via the stairs if safe to do so. If it is not safe to leave and you do remain in your flat call 999 and tell them which flat you are in.