Fire Safety For High Rise Buildings

When you live or work in a high rise building, it is incredibly important to think ahead and be prepared in the event that a fire breaks out. Understanding the safety features of your building or unit needs to be a top priority and you must ensure that either your employer or your landlord/building manager clearly lays out the emergency procedures that are outlined in the building’s fire safety plan. It’s important to remember that every fire is different and protocol may not be exactly the same for every situation. We’re going to take a look at what you need to know when it comes to fire safety for high rise buildings.


As mentioned, making sure you’re fully prepared for the event of a fire in a high rise building is essential to ensuring that everyone is unharmed. Not only should you make sure you’re asking questions if you feel unclear about the procedures that have been set in place, but you should read the building’s evacuation plan, which should be readily available and clearly visible in your building. tells us the first thing that should always be done in the event of a possible fire in a high rise building:

“Find out what the building’s evacuation plan is. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says it should be posted in high-traffic areas. Next, you and your co-workers should routinely practice your floor’s escape plan. Remember: Fire exits, doorways, halls and stairways should never be blocked. If you notice that a fire safety system device is damaged, report it to management right away.”

Stay in Place

It’s important to remember that when living or working in a high rise building, sometimes it’s actually safer for you to stay in place, rather than attempt to leave the building. Of course, this is dependent on the particular circumstances of the fire, but the fact remains, it can make far more sense to keep yourself out of harm’s way if the fire is contained in one area of the building.

Lewis Smith, Canada Safety Council spokesperson explains on why sometimes the best thing you can do is stay put:

“It’s also generally a good idea to stay in place if there’s smoke or fire outside your exit door, if you have a disability that might make evacuation more difficult than your average person, or if you waited just a bit too long to evacuate and the fire department is in place and attempting to ventilate the fire.” 

Leaving the Building

Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to leave the building, especially if  you are close to the source of the fire or if the fire is rapidly spreading. However, there are some courses of action that you should not take when attempting to leave the building – and attempting to use the elevator is on the top of this list. expands on why you must never try to leave the building by elevator in the event of a fire: 

“During a fire emergency, never attempt to leave a building by an elevator. Heat can activate elevator call buttons, sending the elevator to the fire floor, where dense smoke may interfere with the elevator’s light-sensitive eye and prevent the door from closing. Also, you may become trapped in the elevator if water from fire fighting operations creates a power failure. In addition, firefighters require designated elevators to carry them and their equipment to the floor below the fire.”

Fire-Alert takes pride in equipping homeowners with all necessary fire safety devices to ensure the well-being of families across the nation. Reach out to us using our contact form to find out more.