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  • Public Education
    Apr 13, 2011

    Feb 16, 2011



    High-Rise Apartment & Condo Safety

    People living in a High-Rise Apartment or Condominium building need to think ahead and be prepared in the event of a fire. It is important to know the fire safety features of your building and work together with neighbors to help keep the buildings as fire-safe as possible


    For the best protection, select a fully sprinklered building to live in.



    Fire alarms, sprinklers, voice communication procedures, evacuation plans and how to respond to an alarm

    «    Know the locations of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke.

    «    Make sure all exit and stairwell doors are clearly marked, not locked or blocked by security bars and clear of clutter

    «    If there is a fire, pull the fire alarm on your way out to notify the Fire Department and your neighbors

    «    If the Fire Alarm sounds, feel the door before opening and close all doors behind you as you leave. If it is hot, use another way out. If it is cool, leave by the nearest way out.

    «    If an announcement is made throughout the building, listen carefully and follow directions.

    «    Use the stairs to get out — never use the elevator unless you are directed to by the Fire Department.

    Escape 101

    «    GO to your outside meeting place and stay there. Call 911. If someone is trapped in the building, notify the 911 Operator

    «    If you can’t get out of your apartment because there is fire, smoke or a disability, stuff wet towels or sheets around the door and vents to keep the smoke out.

    «    Call 911 and tell the 911 Operator where you are.

    «    Open a window slightly and wave a bright cloth to signal your location. Be prepared to close the window if it makes the smoke condition worse.

    «    A Fire Department evacuation of a High-Rise can take a long time, be patient and follow all instructions


    High-Rise Buildings are more likely to have sprinklers and fire alarm equipment than other non High-Rise 



    Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility...

    Fire Stops With You!




    Download: L1286 High-Rise Apartment & Condominium Fire Safety.doc

    Feb 16, 2011


    Suggested High-Rise Office Building Evacuation Plans


    Plan Implementation

    1. Floor Plan

    The building management should develop a floor plan which will be posted in key locations throughout each floor. Additionally, each employee will be given the name of their Floor Leader to be kept in his/her assigned work area. Copies of Evacuation/Emergency Procedures and the location of physically disabled personnel will be posted at each work station and at the lobby desk.

    2. Orientation

    Every employee and tenant will be orientated in the emergency procedure for the building and will be required to participate in any drills.

    3. In The Event Of a Fire

    In the event of a fire in a high-rise office building, there will be only a partial evacuation: the fire floor, Two (2) floors above and Two (2) floors below the fire.

    Follow the directions and announcements over the Public Address System (PA System) from the Fire Department, they will direct you to evacuate by a determined stairwell/stairwells for your SAFETY.”

    The use of Stairwells used by the Fire Department, will impede the progress of the Fire Department, as well as put yourself and others in harms way. It is critical that you and others “Follow the directions and announcements over the Public Address System (PA System) from the Fire Department, they will direct you to evacuate by a determined stairwell/stairwells for your SAFETY.”

    Floor Warden/Assistant Floor Warden

    Description of Responsibilities

    The Floor Warden is responsible for emergency coordination and reporting of any potential or actual emergency condition to the Building Management. The Floor Warden is also responsible for organizing his/her emergency team members and making sure emergency procedures are carried out correctly.


    1. Appoints personnel to the emergency team and fills vacant positions.
    2. Maintains an updated roster of all Floor Leaders, Searchers, Stairwell Monitors, Elevator Monitors, Handicapped Aides and alternates.
    3. Alerts key personnel (Asst. Floor Warden, Floor Leader, etc.) of potential emergencies.
    4. Supervises the activity and training of all key emergency team members.
    5. Ensures that all emergency team personnel know their assigned duties and locations in case of an emergency.
    6. Is responsible for informing and training key emergency personnel and all floor personnel in emergency procedures.
    7. Pre-plans the handling of physically disabled personnel during evacuation.
    8. Is responsible for the evacuation of floor personnel.
    9. Is responsible for notifying the Elevator Monitor to evacuate. The Assistant Floor Warden will assist the Area Warden in all areas of responsibility and assume the leadership role in his/her absence.

    Floor Leader

    Description of Responsibilities

    Operating under the supervision of the Floor Warden, the Floor Leader is responsible for the control of people in his/her area. He/She is responsible for the safe evacuation of personnel in his/her work area during an emergency.


    1. Supervises assembly of personnel in his/her work area.
    2. Is responsible for orderly evacuation of all personnel in his/her area via designated exits.
    3. Remains with the group throughout the evacuation period and leads them to predetermined safe areas.
    4. Assists in training of all personnel in his/her work area.


    Description of Responsibilities

    Under the supervision of the Floor Leader, Searchers are responsible for finding and evacuating all personnel from the floor, specifically from remote areas such as storerooms, file rooms, coffee areas, etc.


    1. Checks all rooms including rest rooms, conference rooms, reception areas, and remote areas, closing but not locking all doors behind them.
    2. Advises any remaining personnel on the floor of the emergency and insist's on their evacuation.
    3. Evacuates non-employees found on the floor.
    4. Reports to Floor Leader when his/her area is clear.

    Stairwell Monitor

    Description of Responsibilities

    Under the direction of the Floor Leader, Stairwell Monitors are responsible for an assigned exit and assist in the orderly evacuation of personnel.


    1. Takes a position at his/her assigned exit and assists in the orderly evacuation of personnel.
    2. Inspects stairwells for possible heat or smoke conditions before evacuation.
    3. Instructs personnel to form single file lines into the stairwell and directs personnel to exit along the right side of the stairwell.
    4. Supervises and monitors evacuation flow while remaining calm and encouraging a calm and orderly evacuation.
    5. Stays at the exit until Searchers have cleared all personnel from the floor.

    Elevator Monitor

    Description of Responsibilities

    Under the supervision of the Floor Leader, Elevator Monitors are responsible for making sure no one uses the elevators.


    1. Directs employees to the nearest stairway.
    2. Must be familiar with the building evacuation plan and the location of all stairways.
    3. Stays at his/her post until instructed to evacuate by the Floor Warden.

    Handicapped Aid

    Description of Responsibilities

    Under the supervision of the Floor Leader, the Handicapped Aid is responsible for making sure all physically disabled personnel are evacuated.


    1. Maintains an up-to-date list of physically challenged employees on the floor. If possible a "BUDDY SYSTEM" will be implemented in which one or two Handicapped Aids will be responsible for evacuating specific physically handicapped co-workers.

    Employee Fact Sheet

    In the event of an emergency, have a plan of action!

    1. Call 911. Give the address, floor, and nature of emergency.

    2. DO NOT use vanity addresses.

    3. Call building management. Notify them of the emergency.

    4. Know where fire extinguishers are located.

    5. Know how to use fire extinguishers properly.

    6. Know how to evacuate your work area.

    7. Know all exits and where they lead to.

    8. Never use the elevators to evacuate in a fire situation.


    Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility...

    Fire Stops With You!

    Download: L1286 Plan Implementation - Evac OFFICE BUILDINGS.doc

    Feb 16, 2011


    Considerations For Those Who Cannot Use Stairs

    When stairs are required for emergency exit, those persons unable to use stairs need to have a special fire emergency plan. The following fire evacuation guidelines are provided for indi­viduals in buildings which do not have designated areas of evacuation assistance.


    In the event that a fire alarm is activated or a fire emergency occurs, those   persons unable to use exit stairs will need to find an area of refuge on the floor they are on. They should then wait in the area of refuge for assistance from arriving fire fighters.


    Each floor of a building is likely to have multiple places that may serve as an area  of refuge during a fire emergency. An ideal area of refuge would be an enclosed room - near an exit stairwell - that has a door, a window and a telephone. Examples would be an office, a conference room or a classroom located close to an exit stairwell. The door, when closed, provides a barrier to smoke which may be present in the build­ing. The window offers a second route of emergency exit once fire fighters arrive. The telephone provides a backup method of calling for assistance.


    It is important that Fire Department personnel be notified immediately upon their arrival of the location of any known occupants in the build­ing. Firefighters will then assist in the evacuation of these individuals.


    The building’s fire emergency plan should describe the procedures to be followed by those people unable to use exit stairs. It should include how to determine an area of refuge, suggest possible areas of refuge within the building, and describe the fire survival rules to be followed. Fire evacuation behaviors should also be practiced during fire drills.


    An additional area that may be used for refuge is an enclosed stairwell. This is possible if there is only one individual seeking refuge and if they have two ambulatory assistants to remain with them. Once in the stairwell, with the door securely closed, they should wait for fire depart­ment help. Only if conditions deteriorate and become threaten­ing, should the assistants carry the individual down the stairs to a safer area.



    Occupants of residential buildings may use their apartment or living unit as an area of refuge. During a fire emergency, occupants unable to use exit stairs should stay in their unit with the door shut and wait for help from Fire Department personnel.


    Residents who choose to stay in their units should be identified to the responding fire fighters immediately upon their arrival. One way this can be done is by maintaining a roster at the fire alarm panel of residents who plan to stay in their rooms. This roster is then provided to the fire fight­ers upon their arrival.

    Survival Rules

    Once you have reached your chosen area of refuge, observe the following survival rules:


    «    Keep the door to the room closed. A closed door is a barrier to smoke.

    «    Use towels or clothing to block openings around doors or vents where smoke might enter.

    «    Place a signal in the window. The signal can be anything that will call attention to your location.

    «    If smoke or fire enters your unit, call 9-1-1 to report your loca­tion. Stay low to the floor to breathe the best air. Put a wet cloth over your mouth or nose.

    «    It is not advisable to open or break windows. Smoke from the outside of the building can enter through open windows. Break­ing windows will put you at great risk to smoke entering from the outside, and will hamper rescue efforts below.


    Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility...


    Fire Stops With You!

    Download: L1286 Alternative Fire Evacuation.doc

    Feb 16, 2011

    Page Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011 (09:41:19)
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