‘Stay Put’ policy is safe say town’s firefighters

Crews visited residents in Corbett Court to reassure them in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. Picture: Burgess Hill Fire and Rescue Service
Crews visited residents in Corbett Court to reassure them in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. Picture: Burgess Hill Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters in Burgess Hill are continuing work to reassure residents in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Crews spoke about the ‘Stay Put’ policy – which advises that residents should stay safely in their own flat if a fire breaks out elsewhere in their building.

The policy has come under scrutiny after a huge blaze ripped through Grenfell Tower in London.

The death toll is thought to be around 80 people.

Since then, people living in blocks have questioned whether they should ‘Stay Put’, or evacuate in the instance of a fire.

Mark Ross, watch commander of Burgess Hill Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have seen concerned residents who do not necessarily live in high-rise buildings, just more than standard house size.

Firefighters have been reassuring residents in Burgess Hill. Picture: Burgess Hill Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters have been reassuring residents in Burgess Hill. Picture: Burgess Hill Fire and Rescue Service

“We have visited residents in care homes, blocks of flats and people who have been worried and have been panicking in the wake of the Grenfell tower tragedy.

“We have been tying it in with regular talks and events we do. We usually do talks once a month. We just spoke to residents in Corbett Court, which is assisted living.

“In this case there was heightened concern after Grenfell. We spent time there to reassure them and we wanted to explain why we have the ‘Stay Put’ policy and the importance of this.”

Mr Ross added that the Grenfell fire was unusual and should not have burnt in the way it did.

“The chimney effect of the fire was also unusual,” he said.

“We had a coffee morning at Corbett Court. The boys went through what they should do if there was a fire and how to reduce the chances of a fire breaking out and the standard fire procedures. We had a great response.

“We have also visited the Martlets, which is the one high-rise building that we have in the town and we had a great response here too.

“A lot of homes have the ‘Stay Put’ policy, and I think it is recognised as a safe practice. It means firefighters can get to where the fire started straight away.

“I just knew we needed to do something, naturally, I wanted to reassure residents in the community.

“We have had a really positive response in the town. And people have relaxed and have been reassured about their homes.

“We will continue to assist and reassure residents in the town. If there are any concerns from residents they can contact me via mark.ross@westsussex.gov.uk.”

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