Whilst you should not be at increased risk just because you’re living in a high-rise property, it is crucial for everyone to understand what to do in the event of a fire, whether it is in your flat or somewhere else in the building.

High-rise buildings are designed to prevent the spread of fire through the use of specialist doors, walls and ceilings which are constructed to stop the flow of smoke and fire. In fact, most fires in high-rise flats/apartments do not spread further than one or two rooms. You should always ensure your flat/apartment has working fire-detection devices such as smoke alarms – these are proven to halve the risk fire-related deaths in properties. If you live in a high-rise building, you must know and understand what to do in the event of a fire.

Know Your Building’s Evacuation Plan

If you live in a high-rise building, you must know and understand what to do in the event of a fire. Your building’s evacuation plan is on the Fire Action Notice (which will be posted in communal areas in the building). It will be one of the following:

Stay Put Policy

All residents not DIRECTLY affected by a fire would be expected to “stay put”; close windows and doors and remain in their flat until told to leave by the fire and rescue service. Unnecessary evacuation can make it more difficult for firefighters to get to the fire. However, if the fire is in your flat or you feel threatened by fire or smoke you should evacuate. You should familiarise yourself and those who live in the flat/apartment with fire escape routes, fire exits etc. in the building.

If You Are Evacuating

  • follow your escape plan
  • close all doors behind you as you leave, to contain the fire
  • if safe to do so, activate the fire alarm if there is one
  • walk down the nearest stairs or through the nearest fire exit. DO NOT use the lift
  • call the fire service on 999 – NEVER assume that someone else has already done so – you could save someone’s life. Our advice is if you are in any doubt, GET OUT, STAY OUT and DIAL 999.

If You Are Trapped In Your Flat

  • get everyone to the safest room within the flat, furthest from the smoke/heat entry point is best
  • keep the door closed and use towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to prevent any smoke entering the room
  • if you’re trapped, go to a balcony/window to shout for help and wait for the fire and rescue service – DO NOT attempt to jump.
  • call the fire service on 999 – and tell us your flat and floor number


Always report any damage to firefighting equipment, fire alarms, fire doors and fire escapes.

If you are in any doubt of your safety from fire within your flat, you can book a FREE Home Fire Safety Check by following the button below:

For more information, click the buttons below:

For further information, take a look at the two fire safety guides below: