Everyone wants to sleep safe at night, but unfortunately a lot people don’t know what to do if a fire breaks out in their apartment building. Are you familiar with your apartment’s fire safety procedures? While smoke detectors are fantastic at alarming you to a fire, it’s important that you understand how to efficiently evacuate your building if this unfortunate event does transpire.
In terms of fire safety, apartment buildings are very different to residential properties. Generally, apartment buildings are high-rise structures, so your evacuation routes are limited and there are strict procedures that must be followed. Additionally, each apartment in the building is designed to provide you protection, irrespective of where the fire may start. If you live in an apartment building and aren’t familiar with its fire safety procedures, then I strongly recommend that you familiarise them. Along with this, we’ll be providing some additional fire safety tips for apartment buildings so you can feel safer sleeping at night.
While it is the responsibility of the apartment building to provide sufficient smoke alarms in your apartment, it is your responsibility to ensure they are in good working condition. Test each of your apartment’s fire alarms once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. If you haven’t done so already, create a fire escape plan of your apartment so you understand the best way to evacuate should a fire ignite in your apartment. You should also practice your fire escape plan twice a year to ensure it stays fresh in your mind.
By Law, each level of an apartment building must have specific firefighting equipment (such as fire hose reels and fire extinguishers) for residents to use in the event of a fire. You should be aware of where this firefighting equipment is located on your level, and how to properly use them. If you don’t know how to correctly use a fire extinguisher, then this short video demonstration will show you how. If you find that there is no firefighting equipment on the level of your apartment, you should alert management immediately.
If a fire does break out in your building, there should be clearly marked exit signs that are illuminated in white and green. As part of your fire safety plan, you should familiarise yourself with these exits that will typically lead you to fire stairs. Never try to use the lifts in the event of a fire since they will be disabled once any fire alarm is activated.
Each level of your apartment will have at least one case of fire stairs that provides a safe evacuation route from your building. The fire doors to the staircase are fire resistant and are designed to close automatically to keep smoke and heat away from everyone’s evacuation route. Consequently, you should never leave a fire door ajar, and if you find that a fire door doesn’t close automatically, notify management as soon as possible.
Additional Fire Safety Tips
- Every front door of an apartment building must be fire resistant by Law, so don’t make any alterations to your front door unless management has given you approval.
- When disposing your garbage, never put any hot materials or flammable liquids into the garbage chute as this may put the entire building at risk.
- Never interfere with sprinkler heads, nor should you hang anything from them such as clothes. You may end up with very wet furniture and a fire truck arriving at your building!
- Your apartment building can fine you if you cause any false fire alarms. The most common causes of false alarms in apartment buildings are damaged sprinkler heads, excessive smoke from the kitchen, and steam in the bathroom.
Each year, there are dozens of fires in apartment buildings which cause fear and chaos to all residents involved. To avoid getting panicked in an emergency situation, you should familiarise yourself with the steps outlined in the above to ensure you know exactly what to do in the event of a fire. If you have any further questions relating to fire safety in your apartment building, get in contact with King Fire Protection Solutions as soon as possible on 1300 344 966, or visit their website for further information: https://www.kingfire.com.au