PEOPLE living in flats and buildings are being warned to keep communal escape routes clear of storage items that cause a fire risk.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents not to stack anything in passages and corridors, including waste, abandoned materials, bicycles, prams and mobility scooters.

A spokesman said: "Ensuring all passages and corridors (escape routes) are clear of clutter is an ongoing issue within communal properties.

"We are committed to making sure the community and visitors to the area it serves are safe from fire in communal escape routes.

"If a fire were to start in a communal space which is full of clutter/storage the escape routes for the residents could prevent or hinder the safe evacuation of people leaving the building.

"Clutter/Storage also invites the risk for a deliberate fire being started.

"Clutter/storage in escape routes could also affect the speed the fire service would be able to resolve the fire as well as blocking firefighters rescuing the occupants."

Anyone with concerns over the issue should talk to the neighbours involved, their landlord or the management agency.

If you are unable to do so, contact Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service on 01392-872288 during office hours or e-mail