As the UK’s population continues to grow rapidly, the pressure grows to create more living and working spaces. As a result, more high-rise buildings are being built in many of our cities.
While the pace of construction quickens, building and fire regulations for high-rise buildings are undergoing intense scrutiny following the 2017 Grenfell Fire and Hackitt’s subsequent Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The scrutiny seeks to bring about changes to existing regulations, develop stronger management and regulatory regimes as well as changes to material and technical requirements.
The increase in high-rise developments across the country, coupled with the likely forthcoming changes to existing regulations, means the nature of risk we’re facing is changing. These changes are impacting the effectiveness of emergency evacuation procedures.
In taller buildings – to effectively ensure the safety of every occupant, including those with mobility impairments or other disabilities – more careful planning, training and testing of emergency practices and procedures is needed. This is due to high-rises not being designed for rapid, mass exit which, if not planned for, can result in bottlenecks on narrow stairwells.
Effective evacuation procedures should be embedded into an organisation’s culture, clearly communicated to every occupant and supported with frequent training for responsible team members. By doing this, you ensure you’re able to identify and respond to any new risks quickly.
This will ensure organisations are able to identify any new or evolving risks, quickly and respond to them appropriately, safeguarding the wellbeing of every building occupant.
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