Fire Safety in High-rise and High-risk Buildings Explained

18 July 2023

High-rise and high-risk buildings represent two categories where fire safety is paramount. Ensuring that such structures are equipped to both prevent and deal with fires is essential for safeguarding lives and property.

This article will guide you through the significance of fire safety in high-rise and high-risk buildings and the additional measures that can be adopted.

What is a High-rise Building?

A high-rise building is characterised by its substantial height, exceeding typical structures. While specific definitions vary across countries, in the United Kingdom, a high-rise building is defined as one that exceeds 18 metres. High-rises present unique challenges and considerations in areas such as fire safety and evacuation procedures.

Fire safety risks in High-rise Buildings

High-rise buildings pose unique challenges due to their height. The elevation can hinder firefighters’ access and hamper evacuation procedures. An integral part of a high-rise building’s fire safety strategy is an initial fire risk assessment. This evaluates the structure’s vulnerability and establishes the required fire prevention and control measures.

Effective fire safety features include sprinkler systems, pressurised stairwells, and fire-resistant materials.

What is a High-risk Building?

A high-risk building refers to a structure that poses a significant hazard in the event of a fire. Examples include:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Student housing

These buildings accommodate a large number of individuals who may reside, sleep, require special care, or face difficulties in swiftly evacuating during a fire emergency.

Fire safety risks in High-risk Buildings

High-risk buildings are characterised by specific factors that elevate the potential dangers associated with fire safety. These factors include:

  • Significant height
  • Larger populations or occupancies
  • Limited escape routes
  • Inadequate fire safety equipment on site
  • The presence of combustible materials
  • Challenges in access for firefighting operations

A thorough fire risk assessment is essential to identify and mitigate specific hazards. Installation of sophisticated detection systems, employing isolation methods to contain hazardous materials, and ensuring the availability of special firefighting equipment are critical components.

The Total Fire Group Advantage

At Total Fire Group, an industry leader, we offer an extensive range of services catering to high-rise and high-risk buildings. Conducting fire risk assessments is at the core of our services. Our fire risk assessments are comprehensive, taking into account a building’s specific features and challenges.

Moreover, our fire safety consultancy service is invaluable for those seeking expert advice on implementing and maintaining fire safety measures.

What Next?

High-rise and high-risk buildings demand rigorous fire safety measures due to their inherent vulnerabilities. A fire risk assessment forms the cornerstone of an effective fire safety strategy.

Total Fire Group stands out as an ally in this domain, offering robust fire risk assessments, consultancy and indispensable fire safety training.

We’re here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today for assistance with your fire safety and risk assessment needs.


We offer our clients a complete fire safety management service, our key services include:

Fire Risk Assessments

Delivering a comprehensive and detailed report on your property.

Fire Safety Consultancy

We can provide a partnership which offers auditing and consultancy services.

Fire Risk Management Software

Manage multiple risk assessment actions with our Aurora software.

Fire Safety Training

Our fire safety training courses cover every level of fire safety, from basic through to advanced.