Planning and awareness is key to fire safety when living in an apartment complex or other type of multi-family structure. In taking a few minutes each month to plan an escape route with other residents in your building, you can make the difference between life and death for everyone.
Here are a few helpful tips that apartment residents can utilize to lessen the severity of a fire disaster:
- Ensure that the apartment manager or maintenance department regularly inspects all firefighting equipment to be sure it is in proper working order. This should include fire extinguishers, control valves for water outlets, fire alarm systems, etc.
- Always ensure emergency exits and staircases are free of any obstructions that may impede quick movement. Keep the emergency exits and staircases unlocked at all times.
- Every floor (including the basement) should have clear signs and maps pointing to the nearest exit. Fire equipment should be located in a prominent and accessible position.
- Designate a meeting point where all occupants in the building proceed to if there is a fire. All occupants should be aware of this meeting point and proceed to it during a fire.
- Nominate a Floor Leader and Assistant Floor Leader for each floor. These Leaders should educate all occupants on their floor about emergency procedures, exit routes and usage of extinguishers.
- Prepare actions to take if a resident is elderly, unable to walk or in a wheelchair. Note where their living quarters are located and determine which residents will assist them out of the building in the event of a fire.
- Educate all occupants, including children, that they should take the stairs instead of an elevator during a fire.
- Conduct fire drills at regular intervals (at least twice in a year). Publicize the date and time of the fire drill and encourage all residents to take part in it. Each Floor Leader should ensure evacuation of his floor and all residents should meet at the designated meeting point.
- Ensure that fire engines have clear access to all buildings in the complex.
Our Fire Inspectors are happy to assist property owners in preparing an escape plan for your apartment complex or multi-family residence at no cost. Please call us at 261-0083.