Apartment and High-Rise Fire Safety
Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility. Every resident should plan to be fire safe. Two or three story wood frame buildings have either enclosed stairwells, or external fire escapes. Enclosed stairwells have fire doors which must be kept closed at all times!
An apartment or high-rise fire is no cause for panic. If you plan ahead and practice fire drills, your chances of survival are greatly increased. Check with your landlord or building manager to ensure Fire Safety Plans including floor plans and evacuation procedures are posted and visible. Please take time to review and learn them.
What Causes Most Apartment Fires?
- Cooking / Kitchen Fires
- Heating equipment such as heaters, stoves or space heaters.
- Smoking is still a major cause offatal apartment fires.
How important is prevention?
Prevention is Vital; it is the best insurance against fire! Take these simple tips to prevent fires from starting.
- Be careful with smoking materials, check furniture and cushions for dropped matches and cigarettes. Never smoke in bed, especially when under the influence of alcohol or medications.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Keep space heaters at least 1 meter (3 ft.) from combustibles.
- Replace worn or damaged electrical cords.
- Do not store flammable liquids or compressed gases in your home, car or storage locker.
- Do not use balconies for storage, this can block a means of escape, as well as become a target for arsonists.
How will you know if there is a fire?
- Your building should be equipped with smoke alarms and other fire detection components.
- Learn to recognize the sound of the fire alarm, and leave the building immediately.
- Leave the building every time you hear the alarm, as fire may be present in any part of the building. Do not ignore the alarm.
- It is recommended that every dwelling has a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and one on every level of the home. For maximum protection consider installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom.
What’s The Plan For My Building?
- Floor plans and evacuation procedures should be posted on every floor. Take time to learn them.
- Develop and practice your fire safety plan. Know the two quickest and safest ways out of your building.
- Training and implementing a fire warden on each level of the building is recommended to ensure safe evacuation and ongoing safety programs.
- Have a fire drill at least once a year but practice your escape plans regularly. Coordinate practice drills with neighbors, fellow workers, the floor wardens, and building manager.
- Assign someone to assist people with disabilities who may need assistance to evacuate safely.
- Ensure everyone knows what to do when the sounds.
- After exiting the building, go to a prearranged meeting place. Do not go back into the building for any reason.
How Do I Escape From The Fire?
- Check doors before opening them. If the door is hot leave it closed and use an alternate escape route.
- If unable to leave your apartment, protect yourself by placing towels, sheets or clothes around the door and vents to keep smoke out. Call 911 and notify them of your location in the building. If you can, open a window and signal for help by waving a bright towel, sheet or flashlight.
- Never use the elevator in a fire! Use the exit stairways and close all doors behind you to slow the spread of fire.
- If your building has a public address system, listen carefully and follow the directions.
- If your escape route becomes smoky crawl low under the smoke. The air will be clearer and easier to breath.
- If your escape route becomes impassable due to smoke, heat or fire, return to your suite or use an alternate escape route. Never go to the roof as you may become trapped with no means of escape or protection.
- Get out and stay out! Go to your meeting place and stay there. Call 911 from a safe place.
Are Barbeques Permitted on Balconies?
Do you live in a condo or apartment? Do you like to barbeque on your balcony? Here is some important information about barbeque safety for residents who live in condominiums or apartments.