Fire safety in high rise buildings

15 June 2017
High rise building

We have all seen the distressing images of the very serious fire in the Grenfell Tower block in West London. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those that have been affected by this incident.

In our county there are a several high rise tower block premises. The responsibility for fire safety in these buildings is held by the responsible persons (for example: landlord, building owner or management agent).

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) have an inspection programme which includes visits to the communal areas of these dwellings and work with the landlords to check on building fire safety.

For people living in apartments or flats, NFRS provide the following fire safety tips:

Escape plan

  • Make an escape plan so that you and your family are fully prepared if there is a fire in your flat
  • Tell everyone in your home what the escape plan is and where the door key is. Practise what you would do if you had a real fire
  • Make sure exits are kept clear of obstructions and doors to stairways are not damaged or faulty

In the event of a fire

  • If it is too dangerous to follow your escape route because the stairs and hallways are filled with smoke, ring 999 and stay inside the safest room
  • Keep the door closed and use towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to block the smoke
  • If you are trapped, go to the balcony or window - but don't think about jumping. Wait for the fire and rescue service.
  • Use the stairs, not the lift when leaving the building in the event of a fire
  • If there is a fire in another flat in the building, you are usually safest in your own home, unless you are affected by the heat or smoke
  • In the event of a fire, never assume that someone else has called 999. Make sure your neighbours know about the fire. Bang on their doors on your way out.

Awareness and prevention

  • Never tamper with internal fire mains (dry riser) inlets on landings. These provide water to firefighters when there is an emergency. It could cost lives if they are not working properly when there is a fire.
  • If you see a dry riser vandalised or damaged, report it immediately to the manager of the building
  • Never use or store bottled gas cylinders in high-rise flats
  • Never park so you block access to high-rise flats. Access roads are designed so that fire engines can get as close as possible to fight fires.
  • Please do not start cooking if you are very tired or have consumed a lot of alcohol
  • If you smoke, make sure you put your cigarettes out properly, and don't smoke in bed

How to request a home fire safety check

If you are still concerned, we can offer a home fire safety check visit.

During these visits we can give tailor-made advice about:

  • preventing common fires
  • what to do if a fire starts and the best escape plan
  • smoke alarms and smoke alarm testing

In some circumstances we may be able to install a smoke detector for you

Request a home fire safety check

For more information please visit our home safety pages.


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