Apartment and Condos Fire Safety

Fire safety in apartments and condos

“Stop, drop, and roll” is a fire safety mantra that has probably been drilled into your head since elementary school. While that is great advice with some truth to it, fire safety is a bit more complicated than those three simple actions. Fire safety is more than just what you do in the moment, and it requires prior planning and prevention measures, especially when you live in an apartment. According to the American Red Cross, once a fire has been detected by a smoke detector, an apartment resident has two minutes or less to safely escape.

Escape Plan

Arguably the most important part of fire safety is knowing where to go to get to safety. Make an escape plan that includes the locations of every possible exit route in your condo, be it the front door or a designated fire escape. Check to see if the owner of your building has designated a meeting place for tenants in the event of a fire. If not, choose a suitable location with your household. Once you’ve planned your escape routes and meeting place, gather your household and practice getting out of your apartment via all of your planned exit routes as quickly as possible once or twice a year.

It’s also important to think through everything you might need to remember in an emergency. For instance, make sure each member of your household knows the number of the fire department, including young children, so that they can call for help once they escape. If there are very young children or disabled or elderly people living with you, make sure someone is assigned to help them so that no one is left behind.

In a high-rise building, it may be safer to stay in place when a fire strikes, depending on your exit options. If this is your situation, stay close to a window to get air and to signal your location to emergency responders. Lay down towels or duct tape over the door seals and vents to prevent smoke from seeping into your apartment.

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