The Importance of Following Fire Safety Protocols in Multi-Storey Residential Buildings

21 October 2020

On average there are 10 fires every year in multi-storey residential buildings in Western Australia. Fires can result in serious injury or death for you, your family and your neighbours. Always work with your building management or strata committee before undertaking maintenance to ensure you are aware of the installed fire safety systems and their requirements.

If you live in a multi-storey residential building, you must know what to do to protect yourself and those around you in a fire emergency. Every building is different depending on its age and construction. Be mindful that if installed, only working smoke alarms save lives. Your building management or strata committee should provide you with information concerning any installed fire alarm system. You should make sure you know what to do if it is activated. Below are the importance of following fire safety protocols in multi-storey residential buildings.

Fire Safety Protocols Tell You The Way Out

Get to know your emergency exits. The owner of your building is required to display a fire evacuation plan in common areas. This plan will show you where your ‘assembly area’ is located. Make sure your exits are clear stairs and fire escapes must be free of obstacles at all times. Never store anything in corridors or stairways.

Don’t Prop open fire doors stop the spread of smoke and fire and should never be wedged open. Have an escape plan if a fire starts in your apartment or your building, you will need to escape as quickly and safely as possible. Spend a few minutes talking to your family and neighbours about

Practice your escape plan regularly. Only working smoke alarms save lives. Make sure the smoke alarm inside your apartment is working properly and is regularly maintained and tested. There may also be fire alarms and sprinklers in common areas of your building, so make sure you know what to do if these are activated.

Fire Safety Protocols Enables You to Check your home

Reduce clutter on balconies and ensure BBQs and heaters are at least a metre away from all objects. Always turn BBQs and heaters off when they are unattended. Respond immediately when alerted to a fire in your building. Evacuate immediately to your pre-planned safe meeting place or the building’s ‘Assembly Area’.

Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or trying to save valuables. Always test doors before opening them. Use the back of your hand to touch the door and the doorknob. If the door feels hot, keep it closed and use a second exit if available.

Stay calm and get everyone out as quickly as possible. Remember, if there is smoke, crawl low along the ground to your exit. Don’t use lifts in a fire. Use emergency exits and fire stairs. Get out, stay out and call ‘000’ (triple zero). Never go back inside.


Department of Fire and Emergency Services . (n.d.). Fire Safety in Multi-Storey Residential Buildings. Retrieved October 16, 2020, from Department of Fire and Emergency Services :