First Floor on Fire

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The prevailing Fire Code stipulates that Refuge floors need to be provided at every 20 storeys in a super high-rise residential building. At least 50 per cent of the gross floor area of a refuge floor must be designated as holding area for temporary assembly of occupants during fire emergency. One can identify a refuge floor by a sign "Fire Emergency Holding Area" that is displayed on the wall inside the staircase and immediately outside the staircase at the refuge floor.

As the refuge floors are linked to all blocks of a super high-rise residential building, they are easily accessible to all residents and serve as escape routes for those evacuating from an affected block to the unaffected blocks.

Fire - Trapped on the 37 floor

SCDF fire-fighters may also mount search, rescue and fire-fighting operations from these refuge floors, which are partially open to the sky for efficient smoke dispersal. Refuge floor is generally a safe place to wait in the course of evacuation.

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They are naturally ventilated and are made of fire-resistant materials. No commercial activities or residential units are allowed on the refuge floor but it can be used as an exercise area, provided the equipment is non-combustible. Do not try to rescue possessions or pets. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department from a neighbour's phone. Every member of your household should know how to call the fire department.

Be Prepared

Crawl low under smoke. Smoke contains deadly gases and heat rises. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use your alternate escape plan. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees keeping your head 12 to 24 inches 30 to 60 cm above the floor.

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Once you are out of your home, do not go back for any reason. If people are trapped, firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them. The heat and smoke of a fire are overpowering. Firefighters have the training, experience and protective equipment needed to enter burning buildings. More than half of all fatal home fires happen at night while people are asleep.

Smoke alarms are set off when a fire starts, alerting people before they are trapped or overcome by smoke. With smoke alarms, your risk of dying in a home fire is cut nearly in half.

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Install smoke alarms outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement. Test smoke alarms monthly. Change all smoke alarm batteries at least once a year.

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  4. If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, replace it. A local NBC station also captured helicopter footage of the man's death-defying descent.

    Pilot Jeremy Haas told the station : "He climbed about feet down on what looked like basically chain link fencing and then the railings of each apartment building. Authorities think the fire started in trash on the first floor, before rising through a building trash chute and filling the upper floor hallways with thick smoke.

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    Tower residents called to report the fire, and began to evacuate the building. Numerous police and fire trucks attended the scene to secure the building and escort residents to safety. At least four residents and three police officers needed medical attention after the incident, 6abc reported. One neighbor told the station she noticed a building on fire and, like other locals, called police.

    One police car was soon joined by other emergency vehicles, including numerous fire trucks, she said.