Blocks housing high rise flats are designed with safety in mind. Outside the building, roads and other areas are designed so that emergency vehicles can get as near as possible. The walls, doors and floors are specially designed to resist fire and stop the spread of smoke.
Here are some top tips for making your home safer:
- Never prop or wedge doors open. The exterior doors of your home are specially designed to resist fire and stop the spread of smoke. However, to do this, they must be kept closed when they are not in use. It is also a good idea to close your internal doors when you retire for the night.
- Make sure that your escapes routes, inside and outside of your flat, are kept clear of obstacles at all times.
- Know where your keys are – vital time needed to escape may be lost if you have to scramble around looking for them.
If the smoke alarm sounds:
- Don’t open doors looking for the source of the fire.
- Alert everyone else and leave the flat, closing the door behind you.
- Don’t stop to gather personal belongings or pets.
- Don’t use a balcony to escape unless it’s part of an official escape route.
- When you are out of the building, find a phone and call 999 – and remember to keep calm and speak clearly.
- Never go back into the building until you have been told it is safe to do so.
If a fire breaks out elsewhere in the building:
- It will normally be safe for you to stay in your own flat. Open a window if you need fresh air, and stay by the window where you may been seen. If your own flat becomes affected by smoke, leave at once, closing windows and doors behind you.
- If you have to leave the building, always use the staircase and never use the lift.
- If you have to move through smoke, keep as close to the floor as you can, where the air is fresher.
National checks on high rise safety
Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, a national programme of safety checks was started on all high rise residential blocks. Details of how these checks are being carried out and the testing that is taking place can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/explanatory-note-on-safety-checks-and-testing
Click Relevant fire safety advice can be found on our High Rise Living leaflet – leaflet courtesy of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.