Have you heard of the Grenfell Tower fire?
What would you if you were there when the fire happened?
Fire safety in high rise buildings has been a challenge for fire experts ever since these types of buildings came into being.
It is much more difficult to design a fire safety plan for high rise buildings due to the following conditions:
- Longer egress times and distance
- More complex evacuation strategies
- Fire department accessibility
- Smoke movement
- Fire control
- Higher population
There’s only one way to evacuate people from a burning high rise building and that is through the stairs. So if you live on the 35th floor and the fire is on the 10th floor, evacuation becomes a marathon. Hence, it is critical for high rise building owners to invest more in fire protection services.
Here are some fire safety tips for high rise buildings.
- Fire-resistant construction. High rise building should be designed and constructed using fire-resistant materials so the fire won’t easily spread. The building should also be separated into compartments to prevent the fire from spreading to the other levels or areas.
- Have a Fire Safety Plan and post them on public areas. Fire Safety Plans provide occupant safety in the event of a fire and allows effective usage of the building’s fire safety features. Fire safety plans also to minimise the possibility of fires. A good fire safety plan should include emergency procedures, preventative maintenance processes, and instructions on what to do during a fire.
- Fire alarm system. Having a working fire alarm system is critical for all buildings, but more so for high buildings. An alarm system is designed to alert people when a fire breaks out, giving them more time to evacuate. This is crucial for high buildings because more people needs to be evacuated and they all have to use the stairs. You can choose from the many types of fire alarms like smoke detectors, thermal detectors, sprinkler flow switches etc.
- Fire escapes. The only way to evacuate the building during a fire is through the stairs. Aside from the usual fire escape, high rise buildings should have interior fire-proof stairwell shafts. This stairwell should have signs indicating which floor level you are on and also the nearest crossover floors. Having an interior fire-proof stairwell increases the chance of surviving for the occupants.
- Automatic fire-suppressing systems (sprinklers) should be installed on every floor of the building. Having sprinklers installed helps put out the fire and prevents it from getting bigger. Fire suppression systems help control fire and prevents it from spreading to another area.
Fires are extremely dangerous, and especially so for high rise buildings. Implementing these fire safety measures helps ensure that your building and its occupants are protected from fire.