Fire safety matters

Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, fire safety has understandably been at the top of the news agenda.

We spoke to John Ryan, Station Manager at Wembley Fire Station, about how the London Fire Brigade is working to keep Brent residents safe and the simple precautions we can all take - writes

Following the tragic events at Grenfell, are you still advising residents in high rise buildings to 'stay put' in the event of fire?

If you're inside your flat and there is a fire elsewhere in the building, you are normally safer staying where you are. This is based on the fact that when a building is maintained and all fire precautions are in place, residents will get between 30 and 60 minutes of protection and allow the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to deal with the incident. However, if you feel unsafe at any point you should leave the building.

With government cuts to fire service funding, do you have enough resources to cope with major emergencies?

LFB aims to send out a first fire engine to an emergency within six minutes and a second in eight minutes. We achieve this more than 90% of the time. We're also continually assessing our performance to ensure that we always have the right resources, in the right locations.

Is it safe for residents of blocks that have failed cladding tests to remain in these buildings?

Our LFB taskforce is conducting stringent checks on every building that's been identified. After we've inspected each block, we'll make a decision together with the owner on whether it is safe for residents to remain. So far, no buildings in Brent have had faults that would require residents to be evacuated.

What measures will you be taking in Brent to ensure residents' safety?

As well as our taskforce visits, the local LFB checks every high rise building once a year. Our local crews inspect the firefighter lifts, fire doors and the dry riser main, which gets water into and up the building. Our fire safety teams also complete inspections after any incidents and ensure the building meets safety standards.

What can Brent residents do to help fire proof their homes?

Fit smoke alarms in every room as they provide a vital early warning of fire and can give you extra time to escape. We also encourage residents to book a home fire safety visit, where a fire crew can check your property and give you advice about safety in your home. For more information, visit

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