High-rise buildings

Fire safety advice and guidance for people living in high-rise flats.

Fires in high-rise buildings

Most high-rise domestic buildings are built with the principle of ‘stay put’ in mind. This means that flats will be designed to resist the spread of fire. Because of this, a fire is not likely to spread from one flat to another.

You are at no more risk of having a domestic fire than those living in other types of houses.

If there is a fire, we will be there. Don't be alarmed by the scale of our presence. We need a large amount of resources to get our equipment from the ground to the floor of the fire. 

Do not jump, we will be on our way.

You should always have a fire escape plan and know what to do in an emergency.

If a fire is in your flat

If you should discover a fire in your flat, you should:

  • follow your fire escape plan
  • shout to alert the household and get out quickly
  • if smoke is present keep low, crawl if you need to get below the smoke level
  • close doors behind you including the front door to prevent smoke and fire spread
  • once you are out, stay out
  • don’t use the lifts always take the stairs to exit the building
  • call 999 as soon as you are in a safe place

If you are trapped

It is rare for people to be trapped by fire. If you are:

  • go to a ‘safe room’ which should have a window and a phone and gather everyone there
  • call the 999
  • pack bedding or towels around the door to keep out smoke
  • open the window to breathe clean air and try attracting attention by waving a sheet if it is safe to do so

If there is a fire in your building but not in your flat

If a smoke alarm is sounding in a communal area or you smell smoke call 999. You should also:

  • stay in your flat and keep the front door closed
  • pack a towel or sheets around the bottom of the front door to stop smoke getting in
  • go to an open window and wait for the arrival of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

You should stay in your home and keep the front door closed unless:

  • you are directly affected by heat, smoke or fire
  • Fire and Rescue Service or Police tells you to get out

External cladding

We have received a number of enquiries regarding a need for homeowners to provide an assessment of external cladding material on their property to financial lenders. In response to these enquiries, we have produced the following position statement.

Grenfell Inquiry phase 1 recommendations

The Scottish Government recently published its response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 recommendations produced for Scottish Ministers by the Scottish Government Grenfell Inquiry Fire Safety Working Group (GIFSWG).

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