Guidance for High-rise Residents
- What to do if you discover a fire in your flat
- What to do if there is a fire in your building
- Types of evacuation strategy
- Ways to minimise risk of fire starting
Access to identified safety risks and fire safety measures
You should now be provided with information on any risks identified in fire risk assessments, and the fire safety measures provided for your safety. Ask your building’s manager and/or Responsible Persons (RPs) for this information.
However, if you have a fire safety concern about your building and have been unable to receive support from your building’s manager/RPs, please contact us.
- Alert all the people in your flat and leave, closing the door behind you.
- Follow your escape plan. If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air is clearer.
- Always use the stairs and not the lifts.
- Call 999 as soon as you are in a safe place.
- Stay in your flat, the structure of your flat will be designed to give you at least 60 minutes protection from a fire.
- Call 999 immediately.
If your building has a ‘stay put’ policy, all residents not directly affected by a fire would be expected to stay in their homes, closing the doors and windows, until told to leave by the fire and rescue service.
If there is a fire elsewhere in the building, the structure of your flat – walls, floors, doors – are designed to give you at least 60 minutes protection from a fire.
If there is a fire in your building but not inside your own home, you are usually safer to stay in your flat unless the heat or smoke from the fire is affecting you. Unnecessary evacuation can make it more difficult for firefighters to get to the fire. If you stay put you should still immediately call 999.
Please note: Once the firefighters arrive at a fire the advice may be reinforced or changed depending on the nature of the fire, the building and its tenants.
Simultaneous Evacuation Policy: A simultaneous evacuation involves the evacuation of all people within the building at the same time.
Phased Evacuation Policy: A phased evacuation is commonly used in high-rise premises where the storeys of the building are separated by fire resisting construction. In a phased evacuation the storey most immediately affected by the fire and those with impaired ability to evacuate, will be evacuated first and then the remaining storeys will be evacuated.
What to do if you live in a high-rise building and will require assistance to evacuate in an emergency (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)
If you are unable to self- evacuate from the building in an emergency we encourage you to contact your building manger to arrange for a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) to be developed with you to identify any assistance you may require in an emergency situation.
Whilst it is not currently a requirement for building owners to facilitate the provision of PEEPs for people with disabilities, this is something that Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service would support.
If you have a disability, long-term health condition or any other concern about your ability to self-evacuate in an emergency, please visit our Safe and Well page for further information on how to contact us to arrange a free Safe and Well visit where we will explore fire safety precautions and escape plans with you in your own home.
These are some of the ways you can help prevent a fire from occurring in your home and how you can prepare your escape in the event of a fire.
- Install smoke alarms and test them weekly.
- If you have a balcony do not use a BBQ and ensure you minimise the amount of combustible material on the balcony.
- If you smoke, ensure you dispose of smoking materials correctly.
- Clean and maintain your electrical appliances and ensure you register your appliances so you will be informed if they are recalled.
- Avoid cooking when you’ve been drinking alcohol and avoid leaving children or pets in the kitchen unattended when cooking.
- Do not overload plug sockets.
- Don’t run appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers while you are out or asleep.
- Have a bedtime routine that includes closing internal doors and unplugging electrical items.
- Ensure you, and all occupants in your home, know your building’s escape plan. Your landlord has a legal duty to give you a copy of the escape plan for your building, so ask for a copy if you don’t already have one.
- Keep exits clear both in your home and in communal areas.
- Never wedge open fire doors.
For further information on staying safe at home, please visit our ‘Safety at Home’ or the Home Office’s Fire England website. If you have sight, hearing or mobility issues, please visit the fire safety guidance document on the government’s website.
If you see anything that concerns you in relation to fire safety, you should contact your landlord or building’s manager.