Tall Building Fire Safety Network launches International Stair Descend Day

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The event will take place on Friday 19 May 2023

International Stair Descend Day (ISDD), an initiative launched by the Tall Building Fire Safety Network to promote the use of stairs as a community event, will take place on Friday 19 May 2023. The purpose of the event is to encourage occupants/tenants/residents to ‘descend’ the stairs and become familiar with their location and time it takes to descend.

In a tall building fire, stairs become occupants’ only route to safety, and misjudgements regarding their location and descent time can be fatal. ISDD aims to start a conversation about how people can vacate a building using stairs, rather than relying solely on elevators.

The event is not intended to be considered a fire drill, but a fun way for people to engage with their safety advisors, landlords, and managing agents. The ISDD is not limited to residential buildings but any high-rise building, whether it is business or mixed-use.

ISDD aims to promote social gatherings and activities such as “coffee and donuts” at the ground floor, raising money for local charities, and using social media to inform everyone that you have descended the stairs with fellow building occupants, neighbours, and colleagues.

Know your building

The event encourages occupants to consider the following questions: where are the stairs in my building? How long does it take to walk down the stairs? Can my neighbours and colleagues descend the stairs unaided? What do I do if I need help or need to ask questions? Is there any building features or evacuation equipment I should be aware of? What are the emergency procedures in my building?

Russ Timpson, Managing Director at Crisisboardroom and Tall Building Fire Safety Network, emphasised that people should not use any equipment such as evacuation chairs unless they have been trained to use them.

Participants should take advice from a competent safety professional before assisting anyone to descend the stairs.

The ISDD event hopes to bring awareness and prepare occupants for potential evacuation situations, creating a safer environment for all.

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