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When you live in a purpose-built flat or maisonette, knowing what to do in an emergency is really important. You'll need to consider two kinds of fire:
If the fire isn't in your own flat and your flat is not affected by smoke from a fire elsewhere in the building, it's often safer to stay put. On this page, we cover how to make your own escape plan, alongside what to do if there is a fire.
Our guidance is to stay put unless your flat is being affected by fire or smoke. This is based on the fire protection provided in the building and the walls and doors of each flat. This has been the case for many decades and – although fires in flats happen every day – they rarely spread beyond the flat on fire. However, some smoke may enter corridors when the residents leave the flat on fire, or firefighters enter the flat to extinguish the fire.
When you stay put, you reduce the risk of entering a smoky corridor unnecessarily and potentially being overcome by smoke. Staying put also means firefighters can tackle the fire safely and quickly without being delayed by many residents evacuating down the stairways.
Purpose-built maisonettes or blocks of flats are built to give you some protection from fire. This means that walls, floors and doors can hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes.
If there's a fire inside your flat, your escape plan is relatively simple:
If you can't use your planned escape route safely, you may be safer to stay in your flat or maisonette until the fire brigade arrives.
If you – or anyone you live with – might find it difficult to escape in an emergency, why not contact us and book a free fire safety visit for expert advice tailored to you.