The common areas of all flats, including high rise flats, are subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 but this does not mean you should not ensure the fire safety in your own flat is of the highest standard for more information check out Domestic Property. Your building has been designed and built with safety in mind. The walls, the doors between flats, stairs and corridors are specially designed to resist fire and stop the spread of smoke – when they are not in use these doors should be kept closed. In your own flat you will find that you can get to your front door without going through the rooms where a fire is most likely to start – the kitchen and the living room. Outside the building, roads and other areas are designed so that emergency vehicles can get as near as possible. You should find a public telephone close by where you can call the fire brigade.
An important point to consider is the fire evacuation procedure and in all flats including high rise flats there are usually one of two procedures adopted. the first is Simultaneous Evacuation or a Defend in Place procedure check out Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan for more information. To identify which procedure applies to your building ask the managing agents or if simultaneous evacuation is used then there will be a fire alarm in the common areas, if not then a defend in place procedure is likely to be the preferred procedure.
Do not block your escape route
Don’t be tempted to clutter the stairs and corridors of your building. Remember, when you share a building with other families your safety and theirs depends on everyone co-operating. If fire breaks out the hall is the only escape route for you and your family. Do not obstruct it, particularly with things that may catch fire easily. Avoid using portable heaters in the hall.
What to do if fire breaks out in your flat
- Alert any other people in the flat.
- Leave the room at once and close the door. Don’t tackle the fire yourself unless it is safe to do so.
- Leave the flat, when everyone is out, close the front door. Don’t use balconies unless they are part of an official escape route.
- Call the fire brigade – it’s 999 and free from any telephone.
If fire breaks out elsewhere in your building
It will normally be safe for you to stay in your own flat and the managing agent will be able to advise you. But if your flat is affected by the heat or the smoke, leave at once closing windows and doors behind you, if it is safe to do so.
March 17, 2011[Last updated: November 17, 2012]