FIRE chiefs in Dorset have moved to reassure local residents about its response to arrangements for high rise buildings in the wake of the devastating west London tower block fire.

At least six people have died after a huge fire destroyed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in north Kensington early today.

Flames tore up the tower, leaving people trapped on upper floors.

Responding to the tragedy and giving a Dorset persepective, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service says the law requires building owners or managers of high rise buildings to ensure that appropriate fire precautions are in place to safeguard people living or working there.

In some cases, this may require the fitting of sprinklers, rising mains, ventilation or fire alarm systems, although fire alarms are not necessarily required in the common areas of all buildings.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mick Stead said: “Our thoughts are very much with all those affected by the tragedy in London, which we now know has resulted in loss of life.

"Our colleagues in London Fire Brigade have been working incredibly hard and our thoughts are with them as well.

"I would like to reassure local residents that we have established processes in place for ensuring the safety of both residential blocks and commercial premises.

“Our fire safety officers work closely with Building Control bodies, building owners and local authority partners on a day to day basis to ensure that new buildings, and significant alterations or refurbishments to existing buildings, meet the requirements of the appropriate Building Regulations.

"They also carry out fire safety audits of buildings to identify any deficiencies, and help those responsible for building safety to comply with their legal obligations.”

He added: “Fire crews and fire safety officers also make sure that we have up to date plans and information available for all high rise buildings, should we need to respond to any incident.

"Detailed information, in the form of Premises Information Plates, is also provided at some of the more complex sites.

"Regular familiarisation visits are carried by local fire crews to ensure that our response to incidents is as effective as possible, and we often carry out exercises at high rise buildings to test those response plans.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service continues to promote the fitting of sprinkler systems in all buildings, as they are known to save lives and reduce property damage. This was proven earlier this month, when a sprinkler system prevented a flat fire in Poole from spreading out of control.

Anyone living in Dorset and Wiltshire can request a free Safe & Well visit from the Fire and Rescue Service – call 0800 038 2323 or visit

If you have a fire safety concern about a high rise building, please contact the Fire Safety team on 01722 691717 or email