To wonder how I'd get out of my flat in a fire?(10 Posts)
There are 8 flats in my block across two floors. Basically you access all 8 through a communal front door, then there are 4 flats downstairs and a staircase leading up to the four upstairs (obviously all with their own front door). I'm on the upper floor and my bedroom is the furthest room away from the front door.
Acquaintances of mine have recently had a fire and it's planted the seed in my mind that if there is a fire in my flat which blocks my front door, or in any of the other flats which blocks the staircase then there's no other way out but through the window, with a huge drop.
I'm thinking about getting some rope ladders. Does anyone else have any? Are they easy to use? I feel paranoid and the more I think about it the more ridiculous it seems that there is only one communal door and no other fire escapes.
If the fire was in your flat and you could get out the door obviously do so. Do not run through smoke or think you can hold your breath because it doesn’t work. If there was a fire in the communal stairwell, we would say close all your doors , go to the furthest away room, and phone 999. Tell us where you are in the flat. We would then put a ladder up and carry you down. Only on a very last resort would we suggest jumping. Even a bog standard door can with hold fire for approx 20 mins. Which is plenty of time for us to get to you. Make sure your smoke alarms/ heat detectors are working and 9 times out of ten you’d be fine. I’ve just come home from shift, and does this twice today. (Plus a suicide and a drug overdose). We would still suggest staying put and going to the window for fresh air, despite Grenfell. That was unprecedented.
This is no different to a fire in a two storey house OP. Rope ladders are a good idea.
If you need to jump you can throw things out to break your fall. The bet thing is to close all doors at night so any fire breaking out is contained, check smoke alarms and keep spare batteries (thank god it’s not those stupid square batteries these days, no-one ever had a spare). Take your mobile into your room at night, if a fire breaks out and you are trapped-call 999 immediately and tell them you are trapped and where. Close all doors block the bottom to cut the smoke, open the window and get down low once the fire brigade arrive follow their instructions exactly to the letter andbtry not to panic. It shouldn’t ever happen but if it does, have a plan.
Your local fire service may be able to do a home visit and discuss your options with you. You should be able to book it online.
Like you, one of my neighbours had a house fire and it got me thinking about fire safety. I arranged for our local fire service to do a safety inspection and they pointed out my escape routes. Now DP and I have a plan of what to do if there is a fire in the night.
Do you know whether you have a working smoke alarm and sprinkler system in the stairwell? Do you check your smoke alarms regularly? Rope ladders sound like a good idea- ask the fire service for advice.
* I'm thinking about getting some rope ladders. Does anyone else have any? Are they easy to use?*
We had a metal one that stowed away in a box under the window. DH used it once when he double locked himself into that flat and then lost the keys. 🙄
He said it felt safe enough. But that was the only use it ever got.
Do you have fully opening casement or sash windows?
I wonder this too OP as we are in a top floor flat (5 floors- 1 flat on each floor) & our living room windows lead to a very small brick area we would either have to climb onto and try and get to next building/roof (scary!!) or our back window in bedroom is about a 5/6metre drop to concrete. Plus bedroom window would need to be smashed as it's only got a small opening and the lounge windows are single glaze and the wood has expanded around it so they're hard to open.
Just my partner & I plus dog so that's going to be hard if we have to climb.
I've always thought if there is a fire, get loads of towels, wet them in the bath, wrap them round us (partner would carry dog), cloth to mouth & literally run for it down all the stairs. As long as whoever's flat the fire started in closed all their doors upon leaving we should be able to get out within 30secs of running down stairs.
(Would be considerably more difficult though if it was the ground floor flat!)
I need to get a new battery for the fire alarm so this has just reminded me!
Thank you Violet, that's reassuring. Would you recommend getting ladders or would they hinder more than help?
This is no different to a fire in a two storey house OP. Rope ladders are a good idea. No I suppose it's not, I hadn't thought of it like that, except for that I wouldn't hear the other flats' alarms.
Do you know whether you have a working smoke alarm and sprinkler system in the stairwell? Do you check your smoke alarms regularly? Rope ladders sound like a good idea- ask the fire service for advice. I don't know about the stairwell. When I moved into the flat the smoke alarm was somehow linked with the other flats' alarms and the alarm went off in the hallways too. But then mine broke and it's electronic rather than battery so I couldn't fix it. I reported it to the landlord who fitted another alarm but just a standard one (which I do check) which doesn't link up to the system any more.
They're casement windows Cole.
* They're casement windows Cole.*
Well then as long as the ladder is narrower than the opening and the claw/ wraparound bit has enough of a sill to hook on to, a collapsible ladder is probably a good idea.
I'm about to invest in some ladders OP.
Look at www.safelincs.co.uk
They have a section for portable ladders.
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