NFCC 'Stay Put' Position Statement

Fire and rescue services work with local authorities, developers, management committees and tenants to help ensure that the fire safety arrangements in high-rise accommodation are safe and appropriate.

The advice provided by fire and rescue services is based on effective fire safety arrangements that are required, proposed, and then provided in the building – these include compartmentation of the building and suitably protected means of escape amongst others.

If there is a fire inside a flat or maisonette, the advice is to alert all the people in the flat and leave the property and close all doors. They should follow a pre-determined escape plan and if there is a lot of smoke within the flat, people should crawl along the floor where the air should be clearer and the temperature cooler. They should always use the stairs rather than the lift and call 999 as soon as they are in a safe place.

If there is a fire elsewhere in the building, the structure of the flat – walls, floors, and doors – are designed to give appropriate protection. It is important for responsible owners to ensure that high-rise buildings are properly constructed and any refurbishment or maintenance is carried out to compliant standards of fire safety.

If there is a fire in your building but not inside your own home, then you are usually safer to stay in your flat unless the heat or smoke from the fire is affecting you. If you ‘stay put’ you should still immediately call 999 for advice and to ensure that the fire and rescue service along with attending emergency crews have been notified.

The advice provided to tenants can and does change depending on the circumstances that present themselves at what are very dynamic incidents. The advice in this statement is part of a preventative approach to ensure a consistent approach is taken by fire and rescue services to assist tenants in developing an initial and safe escape plan.

Once a 999 call is made, and firefighters arrive at the fire, then the advice may be reinforced or change depending on the nature and development of the fire, the building and its tenants.