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International Stair Descend Day 19th May

Tower Blocks UK are official supporters of International Stair Descend Day (ISDD) which will take place on Friday 19th May 2023. This initiative is being launched by the Tall Building Fire Safety Network.

The purpose of the event is to encourage occupants/tenants/residents to ‘descend’ the stairs as a community event. A simple activity, but one that answers crucial evacuation questions before crisis hits.

In the chaos and confusion of a tall building fire, even the simplest of steps become hard to take. Stairs, often ignored for years at a time, become occupants only route to safety.

Misjudgements regarding their location and decent time can be fatal. Day to day, people in high rise buildings enter and journey up and down the building by using the lifts and elevators. It is possible that people may reside in tall buildings for many years and never or very rarely use the stairs. Many disabled, older, and pregnant residents may not be able to use the stairs without help or assistance.

The ISDD will be the start of a conversation about how people can vacate a building by using the stairs. It is not intended to be considered a fire drill. It is not aimed just at residential buildings, but any high rise building whether it is business or mixed use. It is intended to be fun. So why not use the opportunity to host a social event; ‘coffee and donuts’ when you reach the ground floor, perhaps raise money for a local charity. The ISDD is an activity that should consider the following questions:

  1. Where are the stairs in my building?

  2. How long does it take to walk down the stairs?

  3. Can my neighbours and colleagues descend the stairs unaided?

  4. What do I do if I need help or need to ask questions?

  5. Is there any building features or evacuation equipment I should be aware of?

  6. What are the emergency procedures in my building?

Use the ISDD to engage with your safety advisors, landlords, managing agents etc. Note: You should not use any equipment (evacuation chairs, etc) unless you have been trained to use them. Take advice from a competent safety professional before assisting anyone to descend the stairs. If you do take part on the ISDD, please use social media to let everyone know you’ve descended the stairs with your fellow building occupants, neighbours, and colleagues. You can tag us on Twitter @towerblocksUK Above all – have fun doing it!


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