Having a set fire safety plan when you live in a house is fairly straightforward, once you’ve established a plan of action with your few other occupants. But what about when you live in an apartment building? Fire safety becomes slightly more complicated when there are dozens of others trying to exit the building through the same means, when you’re uninformed about the building’s fire safety plans. We’re going to take you through our fire safety and prevention tips when living in an apartment building, so you have a better idea on what you need to know for your own safety.
Unfortunately, many landlords and/or building owners will not take their tenants through the building’s fire evacuation plan (regardless of the fact that they’re supposed to). This is likely due to the fact that no one ever thinks there’s going to be a fire emergency – which is exactly how fire emergencies tend to occur and escalate.
The National Fire Prevention Association tells us why it’s crucial to first know your building’s fire evacuation plan:
“Make sure that you’re familiar with your building’s evacuation plan, which should illustrate what residents are supposed to do in the event of an emergency. The evacuation plan should be posted in places where all residents can see and review it, and the building management should hold a fire drill with occupants at least once a year. Most states also require that buildings periodically test their fire safety systems as well. Be sure to participate when your building drills take place. When looking for an apartment or high-rise home, look for one with an automatic sprinkler system. Sprinklers can extinguish a home fire in less time that it takes for the fire department to arrive.”
Although your smoke alarms should be tested and batteries replaced before you move in, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you check your smoke alarms yourself when you move in, to make sure that you’re protected in the case of a fire emergency.
Lasalle.ca expands on why it’s important to be aware of the status of your smoke alarms:
It’s not uncommon to be unaware fire exits unless they’re pointed out to you specifically, or to accidentally block part of your fire escape route. This is why it’s important to be aware of your exits and make sure they’re actually accessible in the case of an emergency.
Calgary.ca stresses the importance of having accessible fire exits in an apartment building:
“Never lock fire exits or block doorways, halls, or stairways. Fire doors not only provide a way out during a fire, they also slow the spread of fire and smoke. Never prop fire doors open.”
It’s important to have your fire protection equipment periodically inspected by a professional. Check out how we can help with fire extinguisher inspections, recharges and many other mobile services, designed to keep you safe.