Fire safety in high-rise buildings has gained much attention over the years.  Sadly, events like the Grenfell Tower incident, where 72 people were killed in a blaze in west London, show how horrific it can be when fire safety is not prioritised.

In NSW, fire services respond to many fires in residential buildings of four storeys and above. Yet a simple fire safety checklist, can help prevent fire in the first place, and avoid the unnecessary risk to life and property.

Here are a few simple steps building managers can follow to keep their high-rise properties fire safe.

Have firefighting equipment on every level

The Grenfell inquiry heard that firefighters experienced problems with the water supply because there was no ‘wet riser’ – a water-filled pipe running up the building to be used in the event of a fire.

NSW Fire and Rescue, advise that on every level of a high-rise building there is firefighting equipment such as fire hose reels and portable fire extinguishers for use in the case of fire.

Residents and workers should know where these fire hose reels and fire extinguishers are and know how to use them.

Inspect fire doors

According to the Grenfell inquiry, none of the apartment doors met current fire resistance standards.  In Australia,  fire doors must be inspected and tested every six months for common property fire doors, and annually for both common property fire doors and individual unit fire doors.

The front door of an apartment should be a certified fire-resistant door. Making changes to the front door can make it unsafe in the event of a fire.

A reliable and knowledgeable fire safety provider should help ensure that your fire doors and exits are in top condition and compliant with regulations.

If you are unsure about the details of when your fire doors and exits should be inspected, speak to your fire safety provider.

Have an evacuation plan

Grenfell Tower had a ‘stay put’ fire policy – so many residents were told to remain in their apartments by the emergency services, only to become trapped as the fire blazed out of control and poisonous smoke spread up the single stairwell. A total of 65 people were rescued from the building by firefighters.  But other residents went upwards to the apartments of friends and neighbours on the upper floors. Twenty-four people died on the top floor of the tower block.

A fire plan must include an escape plan for your building, and it must be practised regularly.

Have clear exit points

Exit points should be clearly lit with green and white exit signs. Familiarise yourself, and all tenants or workers with the exit points in your building and where they lead to.

Fire stairs are a safe exit away from the building, so never chock open any fire stair doors as this will cause smoke and heat to enter the fire stairs, and never leave anything in a fire stairwell at any time.

Stay on top of these important facts about fire safety in high-rise buildings. You’ll have peace of mind that your people and your building are safe.

Need help with fire systems and equipment for your building? Contact Global Fire. We offer reliable service that is up to date with current regulations. For a wide range of fire protection solutions, call us now on 1300 88 70 18 or email