High-Rise Living

Our advice to people who live in high-rise properties or purpose-built flats or maisonettes, aside from having a smoke alarm and taking fire safety precautions, is to make sure you know your evacuation policy, escape route and what to do if there is a fire inside your home or somewhere else in the building. 

Specific fire safety guidance relating to a particular building can be obtained from the management agent, owner or another responsible person.

If there is a fire inside your flat or maisonette, alert all the people in your flat and leave, closing your doors behind you. Follow your escape plan and if there is lots of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air should be clearer. Always use the stairs rather than the lift and call 999 as soon as you are in a safe place.

If your evacuation policy is 'Stay Put' and the fire is elsewhere in the building, the structure of your flat – walls, floors, doors – are designed to give you a minimum of 30 to 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. If you stay put you should still immediately call 999.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service works with local authorities, developers, and tenants to help ensure that the fire safety arrangements in high-rise accommodation are safe and appropriate.

The advice in this statement is intended to help tenants develop an initial and safe escape plan. Once a 999 call is made and firefighters arrive at a fire, the advice may be reinforced or changed depending on the nature of the fire, the building and its tenants.