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The Ultimate Guide To High-Rise Building Fire Evacuation Procedures

Business Fire Safety, Workplace Fire Safety, Home Fire SafetyNick Mastrantone

Everyone knows that when a fire alarm system has been activated, that it means to evacuate the building as soon as possible. However, with constant drills and tests being performed, people aren’t always as cautious as they should be, and a lot of questions still arise around building evacuation.

Working in a high-rise building is a completely different situation than when in a single-level office. Have a question about high-rise building evacuation? Then keep reading for the ultimate guide to high-rise building fire evacuation procedures.

Evacuating A High-Rise Building

At any time, there can be thousands of people in a high-rise commercial building, which can lead to a lot of problems when a building evacuation is needed, and everyone has to leave at once.

Due to safety reasons, the lifts cannot be used, meaning there is only one way out - by walking all the way down the emergency stairs. It’s human nature to panic in stressful situations which makes the situation more difficult.

Stair Challenge

Not every occupant is physically able to descent multiple levels of stairs to exit. Being stuck up on the 20th floor and having to climb down staircases is highly physically demanding, and it poses a challenge for a lot of people.

Another highly dangerous situation is so many people trying to evacuate and descend flights of stairs at the same time, which can lead to problems in a regular situation, but if you add anxiety, panic, and stress to the mix, it’s a recipe for disaster - with people potentially pushing each other out the way, falling over, and being trampled.

Fire Systems

In a high-rise building, fire systems are critical, as they add automatic fire protection, which has been carefully designed to contain a fire and limit the number of people who need to evacuate.

In most situations, the only floors which need to be evacuated via emergency exit stairs are the floor where the fire started, as well as the connected floors immediately below and above. It’s only necessary to evacuate several floors below and then to await further instructions.

When Trapped: Don’t Panic

If the fire quickly spreads out of control and it’s no longer possible to evacuate safely, the most important thing to remember is to remain calm. Being level-headed will let you make the right decisions. Panicking will only make the situation worse.

Find An Enclosed Area

First, make sure to stay in an enclosed area and keep the door closed. Next, try to use anything you can to seal cracks around the door to prevent smoke from entering. It’s strongly advised not to break windows and try to escape a fire by jumping. The chance or survival without serious injury is extremely low.

Call The Fire Brigade

The Fire Brigade will have been notified immediately as soon as the fire alarm triggered, but if you have access to a phone, call them and give your exact location inside the building. Otherwise, make a marking on the window - using either a whiteboard marker to draw an X, or instead attach a coloured cloth to the window.

Keep Windows Closed

Only open a window if safe to do so, and immediately close it if any smoke starts to enter the room. Also, a broken window will let smoke quickly fill the room, and also make it dangerous for rescuers to enter, or even cause damage to fire evacuation equipment.

Fire Safety Equipment For High-Rise Buildings

Being prepared for a fire while working or living in a high-rise building is crucial. There is only one way out - down the stairs. Do not put your life at risk by being underprepared. Fire can quickly spread through a building, and there may be a delay before the Fire Brigade arrives and gets the fire under control. Having the right equipment can help buy you time if you become trapped on one of the upper floors.

Adelaide Fire Solutions sell a variety of fire safety equipment which gives peace of mind against a potential high-rise building fire evacuation.

Whether you need fire blankets, fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, first aid kits or hose reel accessories, we have you covered. Be sure to browse our shop for the full range.

If you have any queries, our friendly customer service staff are standing by to help. For more fire safety tips be sure to keep up to date with our fire safety blog.