Stoke Residents Bemoan 'Death Trap' Fire Doors

Council Urged To Prioritise Installation Of New Fire Escapes


A study released earlier this year suggested the doors that were installed across 11 residential blocks as part of a £1.3 million scheme in 2011 are not fit for purpose, BBC News reports.

Stoke City Council confirmed that 66 foyer doors do not meet national fire resistance standards.

According to the Fire Safety Advice Centre, an opening should be able to keep a blaze at bay for a minimum of 30 minutes.

The Staffordshire-based local authority also revealed that some of the doors would not open and close properly, which could have disastrous consequences if a fire was to break out.

Stoke City Council's assistant director for housing Val Bourne told the news provider that building contractor Kier Stoke will rectify the problem at no extra cost to the taxpayer.

"We are maintaining the pressure to ensure this is delivered as fast as possible," she was quoted as saying.

However, some residents at the affected flats believe the issue should have been sorted by now, as people's lives are being put in danger.

Richard Snell, aged 67, said the doors are a "death trap" and the council has "constantly refused to take any responsibility" for the defects.
"The fact we have been put into this kind of danger is quite incredible to us," he told the news provider.

"Why is nothing happening? We feel this council has got to be held to account. I find their attitude appalling."

Figures provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government showed the number of people being killed or injured in fires in England is continuing to fall.

There were 271 fatalities across the country between April 2012 and March 2013, which was a 14 per cent reduction on the previous year.

Fire brigades attended 154,000 fires nationwide during the 12-month period and three-fifths of all fatal incidents occurred in accidental residential blazes.