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High rise fire safety

​Objects that could cause a fire

Chip pans

Get rid of your traditional chip pan and get a temperature controlled deep fat fryer. If you must use a traditional chip pan:

  • never fill it more than one third full of oil
  • don't leave it unattended without turning off the heat
  • if it catches fire don't throw water on it or try to carry it away
  • turn off the heat and cover the pan with a damp cloth or lid and call the Fire and Rescue Service

Unattended cooking 

If you’re called away from the cooker don’t leave pans on the heat. 

Turn the handles in so that they don’t stick out.

Overloaded sockets 

Only use one plug per socket unless you use a strip adaptor.  

Check for any worn or taped up cables as these can be dangerous and will need replacing.

Smoking  

Don’t smoke in bed. Every year people fall asleep smoking and start a fire. 

It’s also dangerous to smoke when feeling sleepy or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.

When smoking: 

  • use a proper ashtray and make sure it can’t be knocked over easily
  • don’t let the ash, butts or matches build up
  • wet the contents of the ashtray before putting it in the bin

Candles 

Candles should be in a proper holder that won’t fall over, especially tea lights. 

It’s never a good idea to leave candles in a room without anyone there. Extinguish them and make sure they’re out.

Keep your building safe

Follow these tips to keep your building safe:

  • make an escape plan
  • test your smoke alarm
  • never wedge open doors on landings. These have been designed to stop fire spreading
  • never tamper with dry riser landing valves. These are designed to allow the Fire and Rescue Service to have an immediate supply of water in case of fire 
  • never park so you block access to high-rise flats
  • don’t block escape routes
  • don’t clutter the stairs, landings or corridors of your building
  • make sure that common stairs and corridors are kept clear of obstruction and flammable material 

Be safe

You are not at any more risk from fire because you live in a high-rise flat. 

High-rise flats are built to be fireproof. Most fires don’t spread further than one or two rooms. 

If there’s a fire in another flat in the building, you’re usually safest in your own home, unless you’re affected by the heat or smoke.

Smoke alarm

Your smoke alarm is the best protection you can get. Make sure you test it every week. If it doesn’t work, you should contact the management company immediately.

Escape plan

Make an escape plan for your home. You don’t have to be an expert. Just think it through. How would you get out at night? How would the children get out?  

Talk the plan through with everyone who lives in your home. Make sure everyone knows where to find the door and window keys.

Choose an escape route. Avoid lifts and make sure everyone knows where the stairs are. Make sure these routes are kept clear.

Plan to make one room your ‘safe room’ in case you can’t escape. It’s best if it’s got a window and a phone.

Making a fire escape plan for your home

Fire in your building

Follow these tips if there’s a fire in your building.

Fire next door

If the fire is on your floor, or the flat directly below, get everyone out fast. If there’s a lot of smoke, crawl on the floor, the air will be clearer.

Call 999 and don’t go back in. Wait outside for the Fire and Rescue Service.

Remember: use the stairs. Never use the lift if there's a fire anywhere in the building.

Fire elsewhere in your building

Remember that your flat is your protection from fire. Stay there and close all windows and doors.  

If your front door starts to feel warm to touch or smoke starts to come in, pack the following at the bottom of the door to block the smoke: 

  • cushions
  • bedding
  • pillows
  • towels 

If you've got any sticky tape, put that around the door to seal it. Wet the door with water if it starts getting hotter.  

Go to your ‘safe room’. Open the window and wave something to let the firefighters know that you're there.

Never leave the safety of your flat unless you're affected by heat or smoke, or you're told to leave by firefighters or police.

Fire in your flat

If there’s a fire in your flat and you can get out:

  1. try to keep calm
  2. follow your escape plan
  3. shout to let everyone in the flat know
  4. close the door of the room where the fire is then get out and stay out
  5. don’t stop for valuables, your life is more important 
  6. if there’s a lot of smoke, crawl on the floor where the air will be clearer
  7. when you leave the building, use the stairs. Do not use the lift
  8. once outside call the Fire and Rescue Service by dialling 999. Tell them your address and what floor the fire is on 
  9. once outside make sure you keep a safe distance from the building to avoid being hit by falling debris

If there’s a fire in your flat and you can’t get out:

  1. alert everyone and gather in one room (ideally with a window and phone) 
  2. don’t open the door of a room that feels warm when touched with the back of your hand
  3. when inside the ‘safe room’ close the door and pack around it: 
    • bedding 
    • towels 
    • cushions 
    • clothing 
  4. call 999
  5. if there is no phone, go to a window, open it and shout to attract attention until someone         calls the Fire & Rescue Service. Stay by the open window
  6. if you are trapped in a higher storey, lean out of the window for fresh air until the fire crews     arrive and wave something to let them know that you are there

If you would like more fire safety advice check out the community fire safety section on our website or call the Fire and Rescue Service on +44 (0) 1534 445933. 

We can also come to your home and carry out a free home fire safety visit.

Fire Safety website

High Rise Fire Safety Leaflet



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