Living in apartments poses several challenges when dealing with a fire. Apartment dwellers should know how to prevent fires, how to escape fires, and how to help keep fellow residents safe. Here are some important tips to prevent and escape apartment fires:
- Everyone in the apartment should be familiar with the fire protection system in the building. Each protection system depends on where and when the complex was built.
- Apartment complexes with a sprinkler system provide an additional way to extinguish fires at the right time. Moreover, most apartment buildings also have fire alarm pull stations for alerting other residents that there is a fire.
- The apartment must be equipped with smoke alarms. For increased safety, the alarms should be interconnected, so that all alarms sound if one is activated. The property owners may be responsible for the smoke alarms, but the tenants must ensure their own safety.
- The smoke alarms should be tested once a month and alarms that older than 10 years should be replaced. It is illegal to remove, damage, or disable a smoke alarm.
- All apartment complexes should have fire extinguishers. Tenants should learn where the fire extinguishers are, how to access them, how to use fire extinguishers, and when to use them.
- Cooking is the number one cause of fires in homes. Food should never be left unattended on the stove.
- Flammable substances, such as propane tanks or gas cans, should never be stored in an apartment.
- Space heaters should be supervised and placed at least one metre away from flammable materials.
- Electrical cords for appliances should be regularly checked. Those that are frayed or cracked must be replaced.
- Matches and lighters must be kept out of the reach and sight of children.
- Smoking should not be allowed in the bedroom and lit cigarettes must always be attended.
- Hallways must be kept clear of shoes, floor mats or other items.
- Everyone in the family should be familiar with the building’s evacuation plan and participate in building fire drills.
- Apartment dwellers should learn the best escape routes and know the nearest exits, the location of staircases and how many levels the complex has.
- Escape routes should be practiced. A tip to know is to stay low when moving to avoid breathing in smoke.
- If the escape routes are blocked by fire or smoke, apartment dwellers should practice sealing themselves in for safety.
- If there are small pets in the apartment, they should be put in a carrier. Dogs should be leashed when escaping a fire.
Fires can get out of control in less than 30 seconds, so it is important to get out as fast as possible. Here are more tips for creating a fire escape plan. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.