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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Service releases safety advice for tenants in high rise buildings

Serious fires in high rise buildings are few and far between, with only a handful reported worldwide in recent years. Nonetheless fire safety in high rise buildings is of paramount importance due to the complexity of the buildings, and the potential difficulty of firefighting operations deployed at such incidents.

Staying safe in high rise flats and apartments

High rise buildings such as blocks of flats and apartments have been designed with fire safety as a priority.  A flat's doors, walls and floors are all designed to stop fire and smoke from spreading to other areas of the building.

Handy tips


• Ensure you have a working smoke alarm to alert you at the earliest possible opportunity of a fire
• Keep your doors closed to stop the spread of smoke and fire
• Make sure your escape routes are clear and free from obstacles
• Install and regularly check smoke alarms
• Keep keys near your front door, time spent looking for them could risk your life

If you have a fire in your flat or apartment


• Don't open doors looking for the source of the fire
• Alert everyone else and leave the flat, closing the door behind you
• Don't try to save personal items, your life is more important
• Use only the designated fire escape route and exits for the building
• Once you are out of the building and in safety, dial 999 and ask for the fire service
• Never go back into the building until you have been told it is safe to do so
• Stairwells, and common areas of blocks of flats should be sterile areas that are kept free from combustible items, the storage of items in these areas should be reported to the sites management teams

If there is a fire somewhere in the block of flats or apartments


• If your flat becomes affected by smoke or fire leave at once, closing windows and doors behind you
• Use only designated escape routes and not lifts
• If you have to move through smoke keep as close the floor as possible where the air will be clearer

Should you wish for further advice, please contact our Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999 or to report any fire related issues in your area please call your local fire station. You can find your nearest station and the contact numbers on our website