People who live in a high-rise tower block are at no greater risk of having a fire because of the type of building in which they live, say the West Midlands Fire Service
As they explain, all high-rise buildings are designed and built to ensure that a fire is contained within the flat where it starts and should not spread to other flats for at least 60 minutes. This provides time for the fire service to deal effectively with incidents and should ensure that other residents are not affected.
Evacuation procedures vary from building to building, depending on their design. If you live or work in a high-rise building, the owner or landlord must have an evacuation policy in place specific to that building, so it is important they share it with you.
If the advice you are given, by your landlord or building owner, is to ‘stay-put’, West Midlands Fire Service still recommend calling 999 immediately for advice and to check that the emergency services know what is happening. Once the firefighters arrive and have assessed the situation, the advice to stay put may have to be repeated or changed – but it will depend on several factors, including the nature and spread of the fire, and the building.
High-rise specific safety advice:
- make sure you know the escape plan for your particular building– your landlord has a legal duty to give you a copy, so ask for one if you haven’t had it
- keep exits clear – in your own flat and in shared areas
- never wedge a fire door open
- do not make changes to your flat’s front door without seeking advice from the managing agency
- keep corridors and stairwells clear and sterile, e.g. do not dump rubbish or old furniture there
- if you have any concerns, raise them as soon as you can with your landlord.
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