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1.3 A high rise building, for the purposes of this procedure

may be defined as a building containing floors at such a height or position that external fire fighting and rescue operations may not be feasible.


2.3 Hazards of high rise firefighting can be grouped under three headings:

(a) Building height, layout and design.
(b) Fire behaviour and development.
(c) Firefighting and rescue operations


Personnel may also encounter interlocking staircases within one enclosure that provide two separate paths of egress, to two or more floors and these are sometimes referred to as

scissor-style staircases


2.14 The operation of fire suppression/total flooding systems may result in either

an oxygen deficient or irrespirable atmosphere.


2.17 Radio waves from telecommunication antennas on high rise buildings generating electromagnetic radiation may cause adverse

health effects linked to exposure to electromagnetic radiation


2.25 In residential flats or maisonettes the opening of any door, window or emergency exit may create a chimney style effect

leading to a rapid, unexpected increase in temperature.


2.35 The size and layout of some buildings may make it difficult to reliably determine the location, floor of origin and the extent of fire and smoke spread from the ground.This can

Create the potential for teams using firefighting lifts to proceed directly onto a floor area involved in fire or may mean that resources are deployed to inappropriate locations.


The fire service access level may not be the recognised ground floor level of the building. This can lead to

an incorrect count of floors to the fire floor potentially putting teams using the firefighting lift at risk. 2


2.42 At incidents where hoarding of property is encountered (see Policy number 829 - Hoarding), a number of hazards may be present.
These include;

(a) Large volumes of combustible materials,
(b) Difficult access/egress and changes to the normal layout of a premises,
(c) Items of property falling and trapping occupiers/firefighters,
(d) Absorption of water which will add significant weight, increasing the likelihood of collapse,
(e) Deep seated/hidden fires,
(f) Contaminated water run-off.


3.2 Building Regulations require all buildings over

18m in height to make provisions for firefighting and firefighter access.


Those in excess of

60m require wet systems (as of 2006 – 50m)


The basic facilities provided within these buildings may include:

• Firefighting shaft.
• Dry/wet rising mains (DRM or WRM).
• Firefighting lift.


3.3 Firefighting shafts including fire mains (but not firefighting lifts) may also be found in certain building types with floor heights

exceeding 7.5m


In addition to those within firefighting shafts, fire mains may also be located in

other staircases and/or corridors within a high rise building


3.4 Sprinklers and other fire engineered systems may also be found in high rise buildings. The installation of sprinkler systems may indicate

that there are larger compartment areas with significant fire loadings present.


4.2 Station personnel should assess the hazards identified for a premises or location and determine the level of risk by reference to factors such as size

complexity and layout.


6.1 Attendance should be made to the main entrance of the premises,

unless an agreed RVP or split attendance has been identified during the planning phase or prevailing conditions dictate otherwise


6.2 The siting of appliances that form the PDA should take into account the potential need for

access for aerials, other specialist appliances and emergency services, and the potential danger of objects falling from height.


6.3 To establish effective command and control, the IC should:

a) Remain at ground floor level unless planning arrangements have identified a more appropriate location e.g. the Fire Control Centre.
(b) Gather all available relevant information from sources such as building occupants, from any building or evacuation plan and from any premises information plate.
(c) Identify which floor(s) the incident is located on in order to determine where the bridgehead should be sited.
(d) Carry out a 360o visual inspection to identify affected areas and fire spread
e) Ensure initial teams equip themselves with all of the necessary equipment to set up a bridgehead before going aloft (see 7.24).
(f) Establish the location and status of any fire control, fire engineering and/or fixed installation systems.
(g) Secure water supplies for firefighting teams at the bridgehead. The hydrant supply and deliveries from the pump to the DRM must be twinned and charged using 70mm hose.
(h) Establish a cordon to help protect personnel and others from falling materials.
(i) Determine the status of any Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in the building.
(j) Implement reliable lines of communication with the bridgehead, pump operator and other sectors


6.4 The IC should also give early consideration to the following points:

(a) Whether additional resources are required to support operations.
(b) Recognise the effect of wind, noting this may be amplified and made more unpredictable by factors such as the building’s height and its proximity to other tall buildings.
(c) The need to layout jets to control fires caused by falling debris and deploy ground monitors to prevent external fire spread.
(d) The need to establish, if appropriate, separate attack and evacuation stairwells. If this tactic is employed, personnel assigned to assist evacuation must then use a different stairwell that should be clearly identified as the evacuation stairwell


7.2 A DRM can deliver at least

1500 litres of water per minute


Wet rising mains are designed to supply

1500 litres per minute for 45 minutes as a minimum.


Bulk media advisors (BMA) are available to provide

advice with regard to securing and optimising water supply. 7


Wet rising mains are designed to supply

1500 litres per minute for 45 minutes as a minimum.


Bulk media advisors (BMA) are available to provide

advice with regard to securing and optimising water supply. 7


. The F.I.R.E tool roll contains a

a riser outlet wheel, adjustable spanner, mole grips and rubber hose washer which may assist in the use of outlets in disrepair.


7.16 The firefighting lift should remain at the established

bridgehead so that rescued persons can be quickly brought to ground floor level


7.12 Where the height and location of the incident makes the use of a fire lift beneficial, the firefighting lift should be identified and a

firefighter detailed to take control of, and remain in the lift. The IC should also be aware that some lifts may not access all floors of the building.


7.17 In the event that the fire lift is not available, consideration should be given to

(a) The resource implications for teams accessing and carrying equipment to the bridgehead.
(b) The use of aerial appliances to transport equipment to the bridgehead (if the building design makes this a viable option
(c) Additional resources to enable safe manual handling of casualties down stairways to the point where they causality be passed to the care of the Ambulance Service.


Due to potential congestion at larger incidents

staging area below the bridgehead may be required for additional resources.