A fire in a 79-story luxury apartment building in Dubai engulfed several floors and was extinguished three hours after it began with no deaths or injuries. The fire, at the Torch building, which contains 676 residential units and six retail spaces, is reported to have started on the 50th floor. CNN.com reports strong winds blew burning debris to lower floors on other sides of the building. The report says four other nearby buildings were evacuated as s precaution; the Dubai Civil Defense says the cause of the fire is under investigation.
High-rise buildings present several unique challenges not found in traditional low-rise buildings; longer egress times and distance, evacuation strategies, fire department accessibility, smoke movement and fire control. The multiple floors of a high-rise building create the cumulative effect of requiring great numbers of persons to travel great vertical distances on stairs in order to evacuate the building.
NFPA offers a free "Guidelines to Developing Emergency Action Plans for All-Hazard Emergencies in High-Rise Office Buildings", which was developed its High-Rise Building Safety Advisory Committee.
The guide is part of NFPA's free online resource package on high-rise buildings, which also includes safety tips for people who live in tall buildings.
- RELATED: There is scientific evidence to support requests for adequate staffing levels and response times for fire departments that protection high-rise buildings. (NFPA Journal, July/August 2013).