What Are the Most Common Causes of High-Rise Fires?
Following the devastating effects of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2016, which killed 72 people, pressure has been mounting upon the Government to make more fire safety adjustments for high rise buildings. Due to the number of floors and rooms in these buildings, fires can spread quite easily, and quickly put lives at risk. Factors such as cladding and external insulation contributed to the rapid spread of the fire at Grenfell, and many high-rise buildings with similar cladding demanded renovation and extra fire safety measures, such as automatic fire sprinkler systems. Different types of sprinkler designs and systems can be installed into residential properties of all kinds to save lives and prevent extensive fire damage. But how can we try and prevent fires from occurring in the first place?
We need to ensure that tragedies such as Grenfell don’t happen again. Extra fire safety measures need to be put in place for high-rise buildings due to their sheer size and hazards that can present themselves. Residential fire sprinkler systems can be designed to suit your property perfectly, with automatic concealed sprinkler heads that detect heat and target the fire at the source. They help to reduce both fire and water damage by extinguishing the fire efficiently, helping to save the lives of countless people within the building. But what other precautionary measures can we take? Read our latest article below.
Common Causes of High-Rise Fires
Like in any residential property, fires can be caused by a number of factors, whether they be environmental or domestic instances. A common cause of residential fires is the improper extinguishing of cigarettes, which can quickly cause fires in bins and even on furniture if the person smoking has fallen asleep. It’s important to keep matches, lighters and cigarettes out of reach of children too. If you live in a rented property, your landlord should ensure that all supplied appliances meet the correct regulations and are all up to date. If you live in private accommodation, ensure that all appliances are turned off when you leave your building or go to sleep, and make sure they’re up to standard. To find out more about checking your plugs, please visit here. You can also register your appliances to check if they are being recalled.
When cooking, try not to get distracted or leave cookers on, especially if you’re cooking with oil. Also, it can be quite tempting to charge your phone or other electronic appliances overnight, especially if you’ve got to dash off in the morning. Chargers can easily set on fire if they get too warm, so it’s recommended that you charge your device during the day when you’re more alert to sparks and fires. Try to avoid operating your tumble dryer whilst you are away or asleep, as lint trays can sometimes have a tendency to catch fire. To ensure you follow these rules, try and get into a routine of unplugging appliances before you sleep or before you go out. By reducing the chance of a fire, you’re not only saving yourself and your property but everyone else on the property too. For increased fire protection, those who maintain the building should seriously consider fire sprinkler systems with automatic sprinkler heads to ensure all fires are contained.
How to Prevent Fires
Although it isn’t a legal requirement in England (though there are different regulations for Wales), fire alarms and smoke detectors are highly recommended in all residential properties. If you’re asleep or distracted, fire alarms can alert you to a potential blaze, allowing you time to evacuate efficiently. Once an alarm has sounded, many people panic as they search for the best escape route. Therefore, if you are the responsible person for a high-rise building, you need to develop escape plans, so confusion is avoided.
As an occupant, try and keep all doors free of obstacles to aid in your escape should a fire breakout. They can spread incredibly quickly, so you need to be prepared when making your escape. All doors within a high-rise building, including flat doors and exits, much be self-closing. This can contain a fire and slow down the spread, enabling occupants to escape. One of the best ways to ensure fires do not spread is by installing an automatic fire sprinkler system into your property. Sprinkler designs can vary depending on the size of your building, your budget and whether you want a concealed system or not. Automatic sprinklers can benefit your property greatly and can put occupants at ease with their fire safety concerns.
Tips to Remember and Evacuation Plans
If there is an evacuation plan available, your landlord has a legal duty of care to provide you with a copy. You need to ensure you’re familiar with an evacuation plan to make sure you’re not caught out in the event of a fire. Some properties, particularly commercial buildings, often have fire drills to ensure staff and occupants know where to go in the event of a real fire. If your building has a lift, it’s best to take the stairs where possible for safety measures.
If smoke and fire surround your property, it may be advised to stay where you are in order to avoid toxic fumes and flames. Some evacuation plans advise that you stay in the property in order to keep yourself as safe as possible, so it’s important to check your fire safety plan until you’re familiar with it.
Install Fire Sprinkler Systems
There’s only so much that occupants themselves can do to prevent fires from occurring. Sometimes, blazes can happen for a number of reasons, and all inhabitants in high-rise properties deserve to be protected at all costs. Our residential fire sprinkler systems can be designed to fit your property optimally, all of which can be installed to a high standard, providing you with the best fire safety for your property. To find out more, or to receive a quote, please give us a call on 01892 680 090. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form.