Things to Learn from the Recent Fire Incidents in London on 19th January 2019

Most people enjoy the ambiance that candles and fairy lights create especially after a stressful day -  the innocence of that small flickering flame eradicate any thoughts of danger.


But sadly, this is not the case;


Flat Fire Finchley

London Fire Brigade reported - Two fire engines and around 10 firefighters were called to a flat Fire in Muswell Hill.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “The Fire is believed to have been caused by candles left unattended that caught curtains on fire.

A small part of a ground floor flat was damaged by Fire.


Flat Fire in Hornsey

Candles left unattended are believed to be the cause of a flat Fire in Hornsey.

A man left the affected second floor flat uninjured before the arrival of the London Fire Brigade.

The Station Manager who was at the scene, said:

"The Fire is believed to have been caused by candles left unattended that caught bedding on Fire.


Flat Fire in Wimbledon

A resident at a block of flats in Kingston Road was alerted to a Fire in a neighbouring flat after they heard a smoke alarm sounding so they called the London Fire Brigade.

Firefighters found the small fire in the ground floor flat which they believe was caused by an electrical fault in fairy lights used on a religious shrine.

The Watch Manager, who was at the scene, said: “Nobody was in the property at the time and the door to the room where the Fire started was closed, which meant the fire was well contained to that room. “This fire could have been a lot worse but fortunately a quick- thinking neighbour rang the London Fire Brigade immediately after hearing a smoke alarm sounding.


Fortunately, there were no fatalities but the above just proves how easy a Fire can start if a candle or fairy lights are left unattended.


Candles are one of the most common causes of Fire so here are just a few tips on what to think about when using them:


  • Check that the candle is away from any soft furnishing including curtains, cushions, throws and bedding
  • Keep candles away from furniture such as sofa’s, armchairs, beds etc
  • Always keep candles away from loose clothing and hair when lighting them
  • Make sure that the candle is in a Fire resisting holder and is placed on a stable, flat surface.
  • Double check you have extinguished the candle properly when finished with its use.


The above tips can also apply to joss sticks and incense burners too!


With regards to fairy lights or any portable lighting including table lamps and desk lamps – you should always ensure they are switched off and unplugged when left unattended. They should also be regularly checked for any signs of overheating or damage.


A Fire in your Flat may not just affect you and your family – if the Fire develops it can quickly and easy spread to the communal areas of the premise – how quickly and easily will depend on the Fire separation for the premise.

The most important thing you can do to help keep your family safe is – Know the Emergency Escape Plan!  

This is the Emergency Escape Plan for the premise – every converted house into Flats and Purpose-Built Blocks of London Flats should have one – it’s the law!



Where do you find the Emergency Escape Plan for your London Flat?


The identified ‘Responsible Person’ which could be the Managing Agent, Freeholder or the Right to Manage Company must ensure there is a Fire Safety Risk Assessment for the communal area – it must be current and any identified Fire Safety Actions must be actioned upon and the progress of completing these actions should be noted.


A ‘suitable and sufficient’ Fire Safety Risk Assessment should include the following;



The above are all the ‘parts’ that will form a compliant Fire Safety Risk Assessment which should satisfy the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.


Residents have the right to witness the Fire Safety Risk Assessment for their premise as they are ‘Relevant Persons’ and the identified ‘Responsible Persons’ are duty bound to display/inform Residents of the Fire Safety Emergency Escape Plan for the premise.


If there isn’t a Fire Safety Risk Assessment for your London Block of Flats or Conversion then you must instruct the ‘Responsible Persons’ to action on this immediately. By not having a Fire Safety Risk Assessment shows the level of Fire Safety Management in place!


Finding a competent Fire Safety Risk Assessor to carry out the Fire Safety Inspection/Audit is essential – if searching on the internet there are so many London Fire Protection Services offering all kinds of ‘deals’ how can you be sure they are qualified to do the job?


The Institution of Fire Engineers is an independent body and on their website they have a Register of Approved Fire Safety Assessors click here to find out more.


London Fire Risk Assessments is an independent Fire Safety Consultancy whose core business is Fire Safety Risk Assessments. They are qualified and approved by the Institution of Fire Engineers and are included on their Register of Approved Assessors. They are not affiliated to any London Safety and Fire Protection Company who supply Fire Safety Equipment so their advice is totally unbiased. So if you need a Fire Safety Risk Assessment for your London based Purpose Built Block of Flats or your Converted House into Flats contact their friendly team now for a free Quotation 01689 890879.