6th August 2019 –
6 Procedures to Prevent Fire and Protect Residents in Tower Blocks
Fire safety in tower blocks is extremely important as the effects of fire can be devastating.
When the conditions are right and poor building materials have been used, fire can rapidly spread and completely destroy an entire building.
If a fire breaks out in a tower block, there are a number of safety measures which should already be in place to protect residents and visitors in the building.
Fire Risk Assessment
Every 12 months a fire risk assessment should be carried out and any recommendations given should be put in place. For example, sprinkler systems may need to be optimised and any wear or tear may need to be fixed such as fire doors. These risk assessments are very important to point out the exact risks you may be facing and if there are any weaknesses that need improving in your fire safety plan.
Compartmentalisation of the building
By subdividing your tower block into different compartments, this will reduce how quickly a fire would spread and allow multiple escape routes for residents to exit the building. These compartments are usually rooms and corridors built with fire-resistant materials.
Fit smoke detection systems
All flats need a domestic smoke detector. There should be at least one in the escape route but ideally a smoke detector in every room to ensure that a fire is detected as early as possible.
For every floor of the tower block, smoke detectors and sprinkler systems should be fitted and tested on a regular basis to ensure that they are in working order.
Provide clear escape routes
Escape routes should be clearly marked with signs so that everyone in the building knows where their nearest exit is located and where they need to go. There should be no flammable materials in the escape routes so that the path remains clear. A guidance system such as emergency lighting should also be used so that even if there is a power outage leaving people in the dark, they can still find their way safely out of the building.
Check the building’s fire doors
Fire doors are one of the most crucial components of a passive fire protection strategy. Fire doors need to be sturdy enough to stop fires for long periods of time, but they also need to be strong enough to allow people to use them daily to walk into and out of rooms and corridors in the building. Because fire doors get used daily, they need to be labelled so that nobody leaves the doors wedged open. This is because if a fire was to start, the door would be unable to block the fire and the fire would spread straight into the next room or corridor.
Communicate fire safety policies and procedures to residents
The fire safety responsible person in the tower block should communicate the fore safety policies and procedures to residents on an annual basis. These procedures should also be communicated to residents using ‘Fire Action Notices’ in the common areas of the building.
To provide the greatest amount of protection from fire in your tower block, ensure that you use a combination of active and passive fire protection methods.
For more information on fire safety, fire risk assessments and fire alarm systems for tower blocks in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, please contact Fire Guard Services today!