Fire safety in high rise flats

Fire safety in high rise flats

We are working with housing providers and local authorities to ensure the right safety advice is in place in every residential tower block in Greater Manchester.

It is important for your own safety to understand what to do in the event of a fire, whether it’s in your flat or somewhere else in the building.

What to do if there is a fire or smoke….

In your flat:

  • Where safe to do so close the door of the room where the fire is
  • Alert any other people in the flat
  • Get out, closing all doors behind you
  • Stay out
  • Call the fire service by dialling 999. Never assume someone else has called
  • Always use the stairs to get out of the building.
  • Don’t go back into the building until the fire service says it is safe to do so

In any other flat in the building:

  • Purpose-built blocks of flats are designed to keep you safe if a fire breaks out elsewhere in the building. Fire walls, floors and doors stop the spread of fire by up to an hour.
  • If there is a fire in another part of the building, it will normally be safest for you to stay in your flat, however, you are free to leave the building if you feel unsafe or your flat is affected by heat or smoke.
  • If a member of the fire service tells you to leave the building, you should do so immediately.
  • Always use the stairs to get out of the building.

If you are cut off by fire

  • If your escape route is blocked by fire or smoke, stay inside the safest room with a window that opens and ring 999.
  • Keep the door closed and use towels or bedding at the bottom of the door to block the smoke.
  • If you are trapped, go to the balcony or window so that you can be seen - but don’t jump.
  • Wait to be rescued by a firefighter

Our flat fire safety advice:

  • Take care when cooking, never leave unattended and ensure your cooker is turned off after use
  • Test your smoke alarm once a week by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds
  • Keep doorways, hallways and communal areas free from clutter
  • Close all doors at night to prevent fire from spreading
  • If you smoke always make sure you extinguish your cigarettes safely

Further safety advice to help keep your home safe


In June 2019 the Government issued an advice note; Advice for owners of residential buildings with balconies (external website), the advice note provides advice on the risks arising from balconies on residential buildings.

Our Balcony fire safety advice:

  • Do not use BBQs under any circumstances
  • Never store flammable materials like gas on your balcony
  • Reduce clutter and try and keep items on the balcony to a minimum
  • If you smoke make sure you stub cigarettes out and NEVER flick them off your balcony

If you have concerns about balconies on your building in the first instance contact your Landlord or the Managing Agent for your building.


There is clear evidence that sprinklers are effective in stopping fires spreading and putting them out, reducing the amount of damage to both property and the environment and ultimately saving lives.

Sprinklers can:

  • Reduce death and injury from fire.
  • Reduce the risks to firefighters.
  • Protect property and heritage.
  • Reduce the effects of arson.
  • Reduce the environmental impact of fire.
  • Reduce fire costs and the disruption to the community and business.
  • Permit design freedoms and encourage innovative, inclusive and sustainable architecture.

Find out more about the benefits of sprinklers

If you are concerned about fire safety in your building contact or contact your housing provider.

Useful links:

Resident Frequently Asked Questions

The High Rise Task Force