Apartment fires result in vast civilian casualties every year. Because multiple people reside in apartment buildings, there’s a higher risk of catching fire than single or standalone residences. Thus, residents should do their part to ensure their safety.
Essentials To Be Safe From Fire
Most often, apartment fires are a result of everyday activities such as cooking. If you live in an apartment, it’s important to keep these safety tips below:
1. Perform Regular Maintenance And Repairs
Apartment residents should ensure they set inspections for their fire and life safety equipment regularly. Some examples of system inspections include fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, kitchen suppression systems, and emergency lighting systems.
It’s also important to conduct pre-scheduled service repairs of malfunctioning and damaged safety equipment. You can seek the help of a professional offering fire protection services to perform regular preventive maintenance and repairs such as APFE Corp. Fire Protection Services and others. In addition, fire safety professionals also offer awareness courses with live training in using a fire extinguisher.
2. Create A Fire Safety Plan
When you’re a new tenant, it’s important to keep yourself prepared in case of a fire emergency incident. Study your building evacuation plan or create one if you don’t have any. You should practice an escape plan or a fire drill to prepare for the worst case.
You should know the number of doors or apartment rooms between the nearest fire exit and your unit. Memorizing the number can help you find the nearest exit when you’re in the dark. In addition, you need to know the location of stairs and exit doors on your apartment floor.
In an actual fire scenario, you need to keep the following things in mind:
- Call the emergency response hotline or 911 immediately.
- Don’t touch or open the door if it’s warm to touch. Stuff the holes and cracks around the doors with rags, towels, tape, or bedding and cover vents. Wait at a window and signal for help using a flashlight or waving a white cloth.
- If the door is cool to touch, you can open it slowly and stay low. Check for fire or smoke in the hallway. Follow your evacuation plan if you see the hallway is safe.
- Don’t use the elevator when escaping because it may malfunction along the way. Use the stairs instead.
3. Never Leave Cooking Task Unattended
A report from the US Fire Administration (USFA) says the usual reason for residential fires are cooking-related accidents, most frequently during dinner. Residential building fires caused an estimate of 11,650 injuries, 2,770 deaths, and USD$8.1 billion of property damages and losses. That’s why apartment residents should be aware of how to keep their units safe.
If you reside in an apartment or condominium, you should never leave a working stovetop alone. You should turn off gas burners and cooking appliances after cooking. Always keep combustible materials like your clothes and curtains away from flames. In addition, you should be extra careful when frying or cooking with grease or oil.
4. Install Home Security Devices
Fire alarms and smoke detectors can help prevent a major apartment fire disaster. Installing home security devices is a smart move because these devices will notify you in advance about the possibility of a fire accident so you can act immediately before it’s too late.
You need to check your smoke alarms to ensure they’re all working, especially in your bedroom, by testing them monthly and replacing the batteries yearly. Inform your apartment manager if there’s a problem with your smoke alarms.
You can hire a professional to install your home security devices or you can also do it on your own. There are many helpful tips online in home improvement or tech websites as well as other video platforms.
5. Avoid Smoking
In a report of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about 5% of home structure fires are caused by smoking materials with an open porch or exterior balcony as the number one area of origin at 18% and the bedroom as the second at 15%.
Therefore, you should avoid smoking in your apartment to prevent starting a fire. Always extinguish cigarettes, cigars, vapes, and other fire, smoke, or vapor emitting devices before you discard them safely. You also need to keep all matches and lighters away from children’s reach.
Because of the high risk of apartment building fires, residents should be vigilant and take extra safety precautions to prevent fires. Creating a good evacuation plan, installing smoke detectors, and having a fire extinguisher in each apartment can prevent a major fire disaster.