Clutter warning from fire brigade

PUBLISHED: 09:31 05 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:31 05 January 2015

Fire engines were  called to the scene

Fire engines were called to the scene


Discarded rubbish can put lives at risk according to the brigade

Clutter left over from the festive period is putting lives of high rise residents at risk according to the London Fire Brigade.

The fire brigade is warning Londoner’s who live in high rise and purpose built flats not to put lives at risk by blocking their stairways and hallways with Christmas clutter.

With the brigade’s firefighters already being called to a blaze a day in the communal areas of the capital’s high rise and purpose built flats, they are calling on residents to think carefully about how they get rid of their wrapping paper, packaging and trees once the celebrations are over.

Last year (2013/14) there were 514 fires which affected the capital’s communal areas, such as hallways, stairways and corridors, in purpose built and high rise blocks - an increase of 65 on the previous year’s figures. This is more than 40 fires affecting communal areas per month.

Our deputy head of fire safety regulation Mark Andrews said: “We all know what it’s like to be drowning in discarded boxes and wrapping paper after Christmas but leaving that rubbish to block stairways and corridors is a fire hazard which puts lives at risk.

“This is a big problem for our crews at this time of year. As well as providing fuel for fires, Christmas rubbish and other items such as pushchairs or bikes left to block communal areas will become a dangerous obstacle that can slow down firefighters trying to reach a fire and save residents.

“It’s the responsibility of landlords to keep communal areas clear and ensure their property has a suitable fire safety plan. Residents can help by not storing items in communal areas because these can cause fires that spread quickly.”

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