It is the stuff of horror movies. Being stuck inside a burning high-rise, desperately trying to find your way out. On a positive note, it is very rare for high rises to catch on fire. There are multiple safeguards in place that are designed to prevent just this thing from happening. In fact, skyscrapers are made to contain fires so that if the fire happens in one place, it is difficult for it to spread to another. Surviving a skyscraper fire requires a little bit of instinct, but it also requires the knowledge that tells you when listening to your instinct may be wrong.
If you find yourself in a skyscraper fire, it is best to use the defendant in place strategy. This strategy dictates that only the individuals who are on the actual floor where the fire is burning need to get out. Everyone else should stay put. This is because in a high-rise situation, other strategies, such as trying to escape the building, just don’t work. One of the problems is that since a skyscraper is so tall, firefighters have a hard time getting water up to the skyscraper to put out the fire. And if everybody tries to evacuate the building, the stairwells are going to be so packed.
Skyscrapers come equipped with a line of anti-fire tech. For example, they have self-closing fire resistant steel doors that stop the fire from spreading. The building materials have a spray on fireproofing coding. All firefighters have automatic sprinklers that suppress the fire. Some buildings have a high-tech pressure differential system. This system changes the pressure between the floors that are on fire and the other floors in the building, thereby suppressing the fire and preventing its ability to spread.
In some rare cases, it may be necessary to evacuate a skyscraper in the event of a fire. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently offered recommendations that will make the evacuation process easier. These include glow-in-the-dark stairwell markings and impact resistant walls around the stairwells. In some parts the world, especially in Asia, giant slides have been installed, allowing people to evacuate higher levels of the skyscraper.
Of course, all of the anti-fire tech in skyscrapers is designed to give people time to escape while the firefighters arrive. Modern fire trucks are equipped with specialized equipment such as SCBA seats, high-powered hoses, extension ladders, and monitoring devices, all designed to help firefighters save the largest amount of people in a skyscraper fire.