And if it is hard for the designer to foresee all the risks, how much harder is it for the owner or manager who must safely operate a building, or for the ordinary user who could help spot safety lacks and, in the widest sense, help strengthen the political will towards achiev ing better legislation in countries where it is needed. Undeniably, there is widespread misinformation about what constitutes good fire safety. One only has to look at the media response when a serious fire costs lives, so often focusing on peripheral factors like how long it took the fire service to arrive, or how long their lad ders were. When people die in fires, the most architec turally significant factor is that the building did not provide fo r their escape. It may help to discount some of the more common fallacies.