The concept of Stay Put only really comes into effect when you’re in a high-rise building, like a block of flats or something similar to that. The reason the idea of stay put came about is because there tends to only really be one set of stairs and each room should be fireproof enough that it will hold the fire at bay at least an hour. The idea is that the fire will be contained long enough for the emergency services to show up and deal with the issue and there won’t be any people trying to escape, which means they’ll be able to get to the fire without anyone getting in the way.
The Stay Put policy will only work if the building it’s implemented in has used the proper sort of materials to prevent the spread of the fire. And even if it has been covered and laid out properly sometimes that can be breached when new walls are put in or even new services so new pipes or something like that.
There have of course been some circumstances recently where the Stay Put policy has been put the test and has ultimately failed, the main example that comes to mind is of course the Grenfell fire. It is quite obvious that either one or both elements of the Stay Put policy totally failed and resulted in a tragic loss of life.
Now this doesn’t mean that Stay Put is totally useless, while it is unfortunate that the events have happened and it is rather damning, it doesn’t mean that happens all the time. What events like Grenfell mean is that people, specifically the building maintenance team need to make sure that things like this cannot happen in the future.