San Diego

How San Diego Maintains High-Rise Building Safety, in Light of London Apartment Fire

Fire regulations are stricter for high-rise buildings than other types of buildings in San Diego

A fire that scorched a 24-story apartment building in London as people slept has raised questions about fire safety measures in San Diego.

The building had 130 units inside and was built in the 1970s without sprinklers. Many people also didn't hear a fire alarm go off when it happened on Wednesday.

San Diego has more than 200 high-rise buildings at 75 feet or higher, and that number continues to rise downtown.

A lot of safety measures are being taken in San Diego to ensure people who live in high-rise buildings are safe in the case of a fire like the one in London.

City officials have acknowledged that because high-rises are built vertically, this does put people at greater risk during a fire. However, that is why safety codes regarding the construction of high-rises is much more stringent than other types of buildings in the city.

The City of San Diego sent us this statement regarding fire safety in high-rises:

"The City's Development Services Department enforces the California Building code regulations for all new high-rise buildings. All high-rise buildings are required to have fire sprinklers, fire alarms, smoke control and a minimum of two exits plus many other fire-life safety elements."

"The City's Fire-Rescue Department performs annual inspections at high-rise buildings to ensure that these fire/life safety features have been maintained in an approved manner," continued the statement.

Every high-rise is also required by law to have an emergency plan and to perform an actual evacuation drill each year.

One recommendation by the city is to always look at the floor plan of your building, usually located in the lobby, to know where your exit stairwells are to have an escape route in place in case of a fire.

Contact Us