Fire Safety Week: Friday – Fire safety in your tower block

Posted: 16/06/2017

As we conclude Fire Safety Week, today we look at preventing fires in High-rise properties. It follows the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London on Wednesday morning.

While the cause of the fire at Grenfell Tower is currently unclear, it is correct to say that high rise blocks are built with fire safety in mind, and the design of our buildings is such that a fire should be contained to an individual unit.

This means that it will normally be safer to stay in your flat if a fire breaks out elsewhere in the building unless you are the occupant of the flat that’s on fire. However, if you become aware of a fire and feel unsafe then leave the building if it is safe to do so.

  • Do not use lifts and balconies if there is a fire
  • It is easy to get confused in smoke so count how many doors you need to go through to reach the stairs
  • Do familiarise yourself with the information on the fire safety notices in your block/scheme

Common areas

We have a sterile policy to common areas. This means that the corridors, stairwells and stairs are kept clear of rubbish and belongings. This is for the safety of everyone so that fire exit routes are not blocked and that no flammable materials are in these areas.

Do not wedge fire doors open. Fire doors are there for protection, to provide a safe escape route and to limit the spread of fire.

Fires in common areas

If a fire starts in any of the common areas, occupants in these areas who become aware of the fire may leave the building providing it is safe to do so. In this circumstance, occupants would be expected to make their own way out of the building.

Do not use the lifts.

Once safely outside the building, contact the Fire and Rescue Service to report the fire.

Fires in individual flats

Should there be a fire in your actual flat, you should alert everyone in your flat and leave the flat if you feel it is safe to do so.

Close all doors behind you, do not stop to collect belongings and leave the building.

Do not use the lifts. Once safely outside the building, contact the Fire and Rescue Service to report the fire. If you are not directly affected by the fire in either of these two scenarios, you could ‘stay put’ and remain in your flat unless directed to leave by the Fire and Rescue Service.

However, should you feel unsafe in any way and wish to leave the building and alert neighbours and you feel it is safe to do so, exit the building in the same way as explained above.

In all cases

Do not re-enter the building until instructed by the Fire and Rescue Service

More advice

During Fire Safety Week we shared advice on different aspects of fire safety at home – from preventing common fires to planning an escape from your home.

To see all the advice shared during Fire Safety Week, please visit our news pages here.

If you have any questions or comments about fire safety, please visit Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s website, or contact us using the methods here.