A senior fire officer has urged people living in high-rise buildings to plan their escape route in case fire strikes.

London Fire Brigade’s Borough Commander for Haringey, Spencer Alden-Smith, has given the advice as part of the fire service’s Know the Plan campaign, which aims to help people understand what to do in a fire.

A survey found that 60 percent of all of London’s high-rise residents – around 760,000 high-rise families – don’t have a fire escape plan.

Last year, there were 17 fires in Haringey’s high-rise blocks, while several people had to be rescued from flats above a burning shop in Wood Green on Sunday.

Mr Alden-Smith, said: “A lot of positive work has already been done and this campaign will help us to build on that.

“Living in a flat is not more dangerous than living in a house, but it’s important to know that your fire plan should be different.

“Flats and maisonettes are built to give you some protection from fire – a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60. Walls, floors and doors will hold back flames and smoke for a time.  

“If there is a fire elsewhere in the block but not inside your flat, you're usually safer staying in your flat unless heat or smoke is affecting you.

“If you leave your flat you could be rushing into choking smoke, the fire itself or firefighters using equipment to bring the fire under control in another part of the building.”

Councillor Bernice Vanier, cabinet member for communities, said the council urged anyone living in a flat in the borough to read the Know the Plan website.

She said: “The simple fact is that following this advice could save lives.”