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ALMO and fire brigade unite to improve high rise safety

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ALMO and fire brigade unite to improve high rise safety

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Health

ALMO and fire brigade unite to improve high rise safety ALMO and fire brigade unite to improve high rise safety

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has joined forces with ALMO Lewisham Homes to improve its emergency response to fires in high rise buildings.

Lewisham is one of 10 London boroughs taking part in a trial which will see 150 premises information plates (PIPs) fixed to the outside of residential tower blocks across the capital.

The plates will display essential information about the building and are designed to assist firefighters when they first arrive at the scene when a fire has broken out.

Information will include the number of floors and height of the building, the number and location of staircases, the position of fire hydrants and the number and location of dry risers which connect hoses to the water supply.

The LFB’s borough commander for Lewisham, John Turner, said: “The premises information plates will help our crews to quickly identify crucial information about the building they’ve been called to and in turn this will help them bring fires under control more quickly. Less fire damage will reduce the impact that an incident has on residents and local communities, as well as the cost of damage repairs for housing providers.

“The scheme also provides us with a valuable opportunity to work with local authorities and other housing providers to help them better understand the challenges that we face when we deal with fires in high rise buildings.”

Lewisham Homes' chair, Julia Cotton, said: “The safety of our residents is our top priority. We are very proud to work alongside the London Fire Brigade in this pilot initiative and to be amongst the first housing providers in London to introduce premises information plates on our high rise blocks.”

The introduction of PIPs is just one of a number of improvements that the LFB has put in place to its high rise response in recent years, including:

• The introduction of a dedicated incident command unit at the scene of all residential high rise building fires to improve communication between 999 control officers giving ‘fire survival guidance’ to people who may be trapped and firefighters at the incident.
• The introduction of computers containing important information about high rise and other buildings on all fire engines.
• New guidance and training for control officers dealing with fire survival guidance phone calls.
• Training for all firefighters to improve their awareness of how brigade control officers give fire survival guidance to people who may be trapped when fires break out.
• Guidance for fire crews on what information should be noted and recorded when they carry out familiarisation visits and home fire safety visits in their local areas.

The boroughs taking part in the trial were all chosen because of the number of high rise premises that they have and because each of the local authorities or housing providers asked to participate in the pilot scheme.

As well as Lewisham the pilot has run in Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Southwark, Camden, Croydon, Hackney and Hounslow.

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