Fire safety in high rise buildings
It is important to know the fire safety features of your building and work with your neighbours to keep your building as fire-safe as possible.
- For the best protection, select a fully sprinklered building.
- Meet with your landlord or building manager or building management company to learn about the fire safety features of your building (fire alarms, emergency lighting, sprinklers, voice communication procedures, evacuation plans, and how to respond to an alarm). Insist that all fire safety systems be kept in working order. Remember your management fee is paid to ensure these features are maintained.
- Know the locations of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke.
- If you use a wheelchair or walker or are unable to make it down the stairs in case of an emergency, talk with your landlord or building manager about purchasing an evacuation chair. Know where the refuge areas are in case of a fire.
- Make sure all exit and stairwell doors are clearly marked, are not locked or blocked by security bars, and are clear of clutter.
- Learn the location of your building’s fire alarms (red box on wall, usually located near exit or door to stairs) and how to use them (push glass in red box, only if there is a fire).
- If there is a fire, push the fire alarm unit on your way out of the building to notify the fire department and your neighbours.
- Leave the building by the fastest route but do not use elevators/lifts.
- Close all doors behind you and be sure to take your key.
- If there is smoke or fire on your way out, use your second way out, if there is one. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
- Go to your outside meeting place and stay there. Call the fire authority on 999 or 112. If someone is trapped in the building, notify the fire department.
- If you can’t get out of your apartment because of fire, smoke, or a disability, STUFF wet towels or sheets around the door and vents to keep smoke out. CALL the fire department and tell them where you are. OPEN a window slightly and wave a bright cloth to signal your location. Be prepared to close the window if it makes the smoke condition worse. Fire department evacuation of a high-rise building can take a long time. Communicate with the fire department to monitor evacuation status.
- If you are a Landlord or a Management company are concerned as regards the external cladding of your building please see the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government's guide to assessing existing cladding in buildings of more than six storeys, or more than 18m in height.