High-rise Fire Safety

A key to fire safety for those who live and work in these special structures is to practice specific high-rise fire safety and prevention behaviors. The Fire Safety office would like you to know these are simple fire safety steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property in high-rise fires.

Be prepared for a high-rise fire emergency
  • Never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Fire doors provide a way out during the fire and slow the spread of fire and smoke. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.
  • Make sure your floor has at least two unobstructed ways out.
  • Do not use the elevator! Plan on using the stairwell which is a fire rated enclosure that will provide a protected path all the way to the outside.
  • Learn your buildings evacuation plans. Make sure everyone knows what to do if the fire alarm sounds. Plan and practice your escape plan together.
  • Be sure your building manager posts evacuation plans in high traffic areas such as lobbies.
  • Learn the sound of your buildings fire alarm and post emergency numbers near all telephones.
  • Know who is responsible for maintaining the fire safety systems. Make sure nothing blocks these devices and promptly report any sign of damage or malfunction to the building management.
Do not panic in the event of a high-rise fire emergency
  • Do not assume anyone else has already called the Fire Department. Immediately call University Police at (631) 632-3333 or 911. Early notification of the Fire Department is important. The dispatcher will ask questions regarding the emergency. Stay calm and give the dispatcher the information they request.
  • When the fire alarm evacuation device sounds, leave immediately!. Don't assume it's a malfunction. Make sure everyone else evacuates as well.
If the door is warm to the touch
Before you try to leave your office, feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door feels warm to the touch, do not attempt to open it. Stay in your room.
  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags or tape and cover vents to keep smoke out.
  • If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the University Police again to tell them exactly where you are located. Do this even if you can see fire apparatus on the street below.
  • Wait at a window and signal for help with a flashlight or by waving a towel.
  • If possible, open the window at the top and bottom, but do not break it. You may need to close the window if smoke rushes in.
  • Be patient. Rescuing all the occupants of a high-rise building can take a while.
If the door is not warm to the touch
  • If you do attempt to open the door, brace your body against the door while staying low to the floor and slowly open it a crack. What you are doing is checking for the presence of smoke or fire in the hallway.
  • If there is no smoke in the hallway or stairwells, follow your building's evacuation plan.
  • If you don't hear the fire alarm, pull the nearest fire alarm pull station while exiting the floor.
  • If you encounter smoke or flames on your way out, immediately return to your apartment or office.
After a high-rise fire emergency
  • Once you are out of the building, stay out! Do not go back inside for any reason.
  • Go to your assembly point. Look around to see if someone is missing that you know should have evacuated.
  • Tell the Fire Department if you know of anyone trapped in the building.
  • Only enter when an official says it is okay to re-enter the high-rise.

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