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Article

Fire Safety in High-Rise Buildings: Is the Stay-Put Tactic a Misjudgement or Magnificent Strategy?

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Engineering and Construction Department, School of Architecture Computing and Engineering, Docklands Campus, University of East London, London E16 2RD, UK
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Building and Civil Engineering Department, School of Energy Construction and Environment, Faculty of Computing and Engineering, Coventry Campus, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
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School of Engineering and Built Environment, Faculty of Computing Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham B4 7XG, UK
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External Quality Assessment Services, National Infection Service, Public Health England, London NW9 5EQ, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Karim Ghazi Wakili
Buildings 2021, 11(8), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11080339
Received: 21 May 2021 / Revised: 19 July 2021 / Accepted: 27 July 2021 / Published: 6 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Fire Safety)
Historically, fire incidents in high-rise buildings reveal that Fire and Rescue Services frequently rely on the stay-put tactic (i.e., occupants of high-rise buildings should remain in their apartments) during an inferno. Recent fire occurrences in high-rise buildings reveal that there are two opposing viewpoints on the stay-put tactic. First, the understanding that the stay-put tactic is a beneficial practice used to protect, control, and facilitate smooth evacuation of occupants during fire incidents. Second, the argument that the stay-put tactic is a misjudgement and futile strategy that leads to fatalities, particularly in high-rise buildings. The aim of this study was to provide awareness and understanding of fire and rescue services use of the stay-put tactic in high-rise buildings. We attempted to answer the questions: is the stay-put tactic a misjudgement or magnificent strategy? The study adopted phenomenological research strategies with various focus groups consisting of seasoned firefighters and survivors with first-hand accounts of stay-put instructions in high-rise buildings. The study also scrutinised three case studies of fire incidents in high-rise buildings in two countries. The study revealed that the stay-put tactic is obsolete; with the potential to cause catastrophic misjudgement, mostly during conflagrations in high-rise buildings. There is a need to advance research on the use of artificial intelligence communication systems and infrared image detectors camera to enhance quick and smooth fire evacuation in high-rise buildings. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire and rescue services; high-rise buildings; stay-put tactic; fire safety fire and rescue services; high-rise buildings; stay-put tactic; fire safety
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MDPI and ACS Style

Arewa, A.O.; Ahmed, A.; Edwards, D.J.; Nwankwo, C. Fire Safety in High-Rise Buildings: Is the Stay-Put Tactic a Misjudgement or Magnificent Strategy? Buildings 2021, 11, 339. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11080339

AMA Style

Arewa AO, Ahmed A, Edwards DJ, Nwankwo C. Fire Safety in High-Rise Buildings: Is the Stay-Put Tactic a Misjudgement or Magnificent Strategy? Buildings. 2021; 11(8):339. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11080339

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arewa, Andrew Oyen, Abdullahi Ahmed, David J. Edwards, and Chizaram Nwankwo. 2021. "Fire Safety in High-Rise Buildings: Is the Stay-Put Tactic a Misjudgement or Magnificent Strategy?" Buildings 11, no. 8: 339. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11080339

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