"Stay Put" if There is a Fire in a Tall Building

Posted on Jul 03, 2017

A London apartment building, which caught on fire, brought light to the rule: If there is a fire in a tall building, don't run for the stairs. Wait for instruction.

For the 24-story apartment building, this is what residents were told to do, and this measure taken proved to be deadly. The blaze took off quicker than expected, starting at the bottom floor, then engulfing the building in flames.

Many people attempted to jump out of the building to save themselves, but 58 were claimed as missing after the fire, and there were 30 confirmed deaths.

According to the Insurance Journal, tall buildings are built with several layers of protection. The "shelter-in-place" protection rule is set for buildings 15 stories or higher. Fire safety codes require floors to be made "fire proof." Fire experts claim the "stay put" method is still the best practice as long as the building is up to proper fire safety code. Unfortunately, this was not the case for the apartment building in London. Buildings are required to have sprinklers, fireproof doors, flame-resistant metal, and multiple stairwells. The Insurance Journal claims some London buildings lack these fire safety features.

In 2014, a man in a tall apartment building was found dead from smoke inhalation while trying to escape a fire from his apartment building; however, his room was not touched by the fire. Floors surrounding the fire are asked to evacuate, but people located high above or below are asked to remain in their location.

It's natural for people to try and run from a fire, claims Robert Solomon of the National Fire Association.

Simon Lay, a fire safety expert, explains that moving away from a shelter during a fire could be dangerous.

However, World Trade Center employee, Jennifer Lopez says that she refuses to wait to die in a building.

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