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Guest JohnLilly

Stay put policy

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Guest JohnLilly

My wife and I live in a 48 flat Retirement Block managed by (removed). They insist that in the event of a Fire Alarm sounding that we stick to the Stay Put policy. I have many concerns regarding this which I can set out in writing.
Could you please advise me who I can set out my many concerns,for proper objective evaluation.

Many Thanks from John

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First you must understand what Stay Put policy is, because it is quite often misunderstood. I believe it should be called Stay Put, if it is safe, policy my interpretation is you remain in your flat, if it is safe to do so, once you feel threatened by smoke or fire getting into your flat or if it enters your means of escape then evacuate, do not wait to be told, if you feel threatened, go.

Years ago there was no legislation for flats, other than the building regulations, and tenants evacuated when they felt it was necessary. In most situations the fire separation between flats was such that the fire was usually confined to one flat and most people remained in their flat quite often not knowing there had been a fire in the building. Today, providing there is sufficient fire separation, the same happens today and only a small number of tenants evacuate. As I have said, if you feel threatened, get out, better to be thought a fool than wake up next day dead. :mellow:

There is a guide for, Fire Safety in Purpose-Built blocks of Flats which should explain it more fully, if you use the find facility with the words stay put you will find all the reference to it.

If you still have concerns talk to your landlord or take it the enforcing authority who is the Fire and Rescue Service.

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Guest Sophie

I work in a boarding school in the residential side and have been told if a child upstairs refuses to leave the building during a fire I am to use the stay put policy and remain with that child and the fire service will be directed to where we are first.....is this acceptable? 

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It all depends if the construction of the residential side if a stay put policy is acceptable and even then certain residents may need to evacuate, dependent of the fire situation. If a stay put policy is adopted then all are subject to it and you cannot have full evacuation and a stay put policy combined therefore your suggestion is unacceptable.

In my experience there is few people that would remain, if there is a safe means of exit and a fire is licking their rear end, if this did happen I would use force.

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Guest Kate

Hi. A fire officer upon audit has advised that our block of flats, which is built to withstand stay put (2008 construction, fire doors etc) but aslo has a fire siren sound in the event of a fire, is in conflict and we should remove the fire siren.

 

We feel uncomfortable doing this. Please can you point me to further advice?

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I assume it's yet another purpose built block with call points and sounders that weren't actually needed, the fire officer is correct and will be referring back to the current standards in Building Regulations and the Fire Safety guidance for Purpose Built flats.

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As AB has said, the fire officer is correct according to the present day guidance, but myself I would be cautious and wait the outcome of the Grenfell Tower inquiry in case there is any changes to the regulations and guidance. If it is left it is not going to cause any major problems the occupants will know if there is a fire on the premises and they can still stay put or evacuate as they choose.

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Guest Mark Thompson

Kate; The fire officer has given advice, because the building is designed to withstand fire and for a fire to burn out within a compartment/flat without affecting neighbouring flats. If everybody in every flat was to evacuate at the same time when the sounders activated you would have overcrowded staircases , confusion , possible trips and falls , obstruction of the fire crews trying to get into the building etc.

I suggest you have a residents meeting and make sure that everybody understands what a stay put policy is , invite the fire office to the meeting to put his points across. You might be able to keep your fire alarm if it gives you reassurance but people should not be expected to evacuate a perfectly safe flat and risk exposure to the elements and a long walk up and down the stairs for no good reason.

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Mark not strictly true the building is designed to prevent a  fire in the flat of origin spreading to any other flat in the building for a minimum of 60 minutes, which should allow the fire and rescue service to get to the premises and extinguish the fire before anybody has to leave the building.

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