From the point of view of the fire and rescue services, there are some practical considerations. The underlying, implicit assumption is that the fire safety measures in the building – predominantly the compartmentation structure of the building perhaps combined with suppression systems – will keep the fire small and manageable and in the place where it breaks out. It is also assumed that the detection and alarm systems will work to give the earliest possible alert for fast response. Although internal compartmentation barriers may be in place horizontally and vertically, what can be forgotten however, is that the external wall with windows is not usually a compartment wall. Fire can break out. Yet robust fire-resistant integrity glazing can be used to prevent glass failure and limit the chances of flame spread outside, up and along the façade. Ceramic glass can easily resist thermal stress; and has been tested to endurance times of more than 4 hours, even with hose stream impact.
The fire service needs to get to the fire as quickly as possible to deal with it as easily as possible. They don’t want panic in the building with everybody trying to leave, all at the same time.
“Stay put” also means staying aware and keeping in touch with the emergency telephone contacts. It may mean perhaps making emergency decisions to leave when conditions become uncomfortable, especially when firefighters are able to assist. Fire of course is dynamic and circumstances can change on the ground very quickly. Conditions for safe escape may very quickly change as well.
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