Danger Above A Factsheet on Highrise Fire Safety
R ecent fatal fires in highrise structures have prompted Americans to rethink fire safety. A key
to fire safety for those who live and work in these special structures is to practice specific
highrise fire safety and prevention behaviors.
The U. S. Fire Administration (USFA), a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, would
like you to know there are simple fire safety steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and
property in highrise fires.
BE PREPARED FOR A iF THE DOOR is WARM TO • If you don’t hear the building’s fire
alarm, pull the nearest fire alarm “pull
HigHRisE FiRE EMERgENCY THE TOUCH
station” while exiting the floor.
• Never lock fire exits or doorways, halls Before you try to leave your apartment
or stairways. Fire doors provide a way or office, feel the door with the back of • If you encounter smoke or flames on
out during the fire and slow the spread your hand. If the door feels warm to the your way out, immediately return to
of fire and smoke. Never prop stairway touch, do not attempt to open it. Stay in your apartment or office.
or other fire doors open. your apartment or office.
• Learn your building evacuation plan. • Stuff the cracks around the door with
AFTER A HigHRisE FiRE
Make sure everyone knows what to towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover EMERgENCY
do if the fire alarm sounds. Plan and vents to keep smoke out. • Once you are out of the building,
practice your escape plan together. STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for
• If there is a phone in the room where
• Be sure your building manager posts you are trapped, call the fire department
evacuation plans in high traffic areas, again to tell them exactly where you are • Tell the fire department if you know of
such as lobbies. located. Do this even if you can see fire anyone trapped in the building.
apparatus on the street below.
• Learn the sound of your building’s fire • Only enter when the fire department
alarm and post emergency numbers • Wait at a window and signal for help tells you it is safe to do so.
near all telephones. with a flashlight or by waving a sheet.
• Know who is responsible for • If possible, open the window at the MAiNTAiN AND iNsTALL
maintaining the fire safety systems. top and bottom, but do not break it, WORKiNg sMOKE ALARMs
Make sure nothing blocks these you may need to close the window if No matter where you live, always install
devices and promptly report any sign smoke rushes in. smoke alarms on every level of your
of damage or malfunction to the home. Test them monthly and change the
• Be patient. Rescuing all the occupants
building management. batteries at least once a year.
of a highrise building can take several
hours. Remember, fire safety is your personal
DO NOT PANiC iN THE responsibility... Fire Stops With You!
EVENT OF A HigHRisE FiRE iF THE DOOR is NOT WARM
EMERgENCY TO THE TOUCH For more information contact:
• Do not assume anyone else has already • If you do attempt to open the door, The U. S. Fire Administration
called the fire department. brace your body against the door 16825 South Seton Avenue
• Immediately call your local while staying low to the floor and Emmitsburg, MD 21727
emergency number. Early notification slowly open it a crack. What you are or
of the fire department is important. doing is checking for the presence of Visit the USFA Web site:
The dispatcher will ask questions smoke or fire in the hallway. www.usfa.fema.gov
regarding the emergency. Stay • If there is no smoke in the hallway
calm and give the dispatcher the or stairwells, follow your building’s Homeland
information they request. evacuation plan. Security