The somewhat vague character of the title of this paper calls for a preliminary statement of the point of view from which it is presented. This is all the more necessary because the subject of fires in buildings may be viewed from a great many angles and the methods of fire prevention are both varied and numerous. The fire brigades, for example, are concerned mainly with the location of hydrants and the accessibility of the building to the usual methods of attack. The insurance companies are interested in the installation of sprinkler systems, the use of fire-resisting constructional materials and other factors which help to reduce the risks they are covering. The local authority takes cognisance of all the above factors, but is chiefly preoccupied with the necessity of safeguarding the lives of citizens and the integrity of surrounding property. Last, but not least, there is the point of view of the occupants of a building, of whom it may be said without hesitation that their first concern is to be provided with adequate means of escape.