People living in an apartment building need to think ahead and be prepared in the event of a fire. It is important to know the fire safety features in your building and work together with neighbors to help keep the building as fire-safe as possible.
If you live in an apartment or condominium you need to know how to get out quickly if a fire starts. Here is what you need to know about apartment living and fire safety!
Apartment Fires Quick Facts
- Between 2010-2014, there were 107,800 apartment fires, causing 410 deaths, 4,280 injuries and $1.2 million in property damage.
- January was the top month for apartment fires with 10,200. It was also the top month for deaths caused by these fires with 60.
- Apartment fires tend to happen in the evening hours between 3:00 -10:00 pm (45%).
Apartment Fire Safety Tips
Building Fire Safety
- Don’t prop open exit or stairway doors.
- Speak to your apartment manager if you see a damaged smoke alarm, fire extinguisher or an emergency light that has been burned out.
- Count the number of doors there are between your apartment and the nearest fire exit.
- Know where all the exit doors and stairs are on your floor.
- Learn your building evacuation plan if you have one. Create and practice an escape plan for your specific apartment.
- If your door feels warm to the touch, do not attempt to open it. Call 9-1-1 and tell the dispatcher your apartment number and that you can’t open your door.
- Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding, or tape.
- Wait at a window and signal for help with a flashlight or by waving a white cloth.
- If your apartment door is cool to the touch, open it slowly and stay low as you check for fire and smoke in the hallway. If the hallway is safe, follow your building’s evacuation plan.
- Never use an elevator to escape a fire. Always use the stairs.
Wait Outside for the Fire Department
- Stay outside. Do not go back inside for any reason.
- If you think someone is still inside, tell firefighters where you think they are.
- Wait until firefighters tell you it is safe to go back into the apartment structure.
Apartment Fire Safety Checklist
Make sure the following statements are all true for your new home!
- Do you have at least one operable smoke alarm?
- Are your electrical cords in good condition?
- Do you have any electrical cords running under rugs?
- Are your space heaters at least three feet from combustibles?
- If your fire escape window clear and unobstructed?
- Can your windows be easily opened from the inside?
- Are your building stairwells free of storage and rubbish?
- Are the exit lights in your stairwell in working order?
- Do you have a fire escape plan?