Edinburgh fire officer warns of the dangers of stairwell fires

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Group Manager David Girrity urges people not to leave rubbish or other items in common stairwells.

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An Edinburgh fire officer has warned of the dangers of fire within common closes or stairwells after a fire in a city tenement last night.

Crews from Crewe Toll fire station were called to a fire in the stairwell of a block in Wester Drylaw Drive at 7.31pm (23 March 2016).

Operations Control staff provided fire survival guidance to occupiers who were trapped inside their properties by smoke and helped direct search and rescue teams to their locations within the building.

Firefighters reached everyone inside and remained with them to provide reassurance as the fire was extinguished.

No one was injured in the incident.

Group Manager for Prevention and Protection David Girrity said: “We would urge people not to leave rubbish or other items in common stairwells.

“Discarded items of furniture and rubbish can produce large amounts of toxic smoke and also impede access for emergency responders.

“You can reduce the risk of fire for yourself and your neighbours by keeping common stairs clear and free from obstruction and making sure main doors are kept locked.  Steps should be taken to ensure the door entry/intercom system is working.

“I would like to stress the importance of having a working smoke alarm. Every household should have working smoke alarm and test them every week.

“We provide free home fire safety visits and fit smoke alarms where required.  If you know someone who can benefit from our service, why not get them to give us a call? It is important that you know what to do if a fire does occur in the stairwell and how to keep safe. We can advise on this as part of the visit.”

If you or someone you know could benefit from a visit, please request a visit by calling the SFRS free phone number 0800 0731 999.

A wide range of tips on how to keep yourself and your home safe from fire are available on the SFRS website: www.firescotland.gov.uk

 

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