'Stay put' fire advice reiterated for Sheffield tower block tenants

The cladding at Hanover tower block in Broomhall is being removed after failing a safety test
The cladding at Hanover tower block in Broomhall is being removed after failing a safety test
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Tower block tenants in Sheffield should still 'stay put' if a fire breaks out, fire and council chiefs have reaffirmed in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

The national guidance was called into question after at least 79 people died when flames engulfed the high-rise block in west London.

But Sheffield Council says following further discussion with the fire service this remains the 'safest way to manage the evacuation of flats'.

It has produced a new 'stay put' poster to display at all 24 council tower blocks, reminding residents not to leave their flats unless their property is affected by fire or smoke.

The advice is included in a report on fire safety in high-rise council blocks which is set to go before the council's scrutiny committee next Thursday (June 29).

The report states: "The stay put policy is regularly communicated to tenants and leaseholders, so they know what to do if a fire occurs and we avoid tenants and leaseholders walking into dense smoke. In the light of the Grenfell fire disaster we have produced a stay put poster that is displayed in all ground floor areas.

"We will review the fire safety leaflet with customers and the fire service in the near future following feedback that the information was confusing in places."

Firefighters say it is safer for people to stay put rather than blocking stairways and potentially exposing themselves to smoke.

Sheffield Council promised to install sprinklers at all its tower blocks following Grenfell, only one of which currently has them.

It also asked South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to carry out new safety inspections.

The cladding at one block - Hanover tower on Exeter Drive in Broomhall - is set to be removed after failing a safety test.

But council leader Julie Dore this week said money would have to be taken from other projects if the authority is forced to reclad its tower blocks.