Are you Safe in Your Apartment?
When looking for an apartment people often look for good water pressure, plentiful parking, and cell phone signal. But, people do not often think about whether or not the apartment complex is up to code when it comes to matters regarding fire safety.
According to NFPA “there were 109,000 apartment fires, causing 400 deaths, 4,170 injuries and $1.3 million in property damage” between 2010-2015. 46% of these apartment fires happen between 3:00pm – 10:00pm.
How to Prepare
When looking for an apartment it is important that you ensure that your building is equipped with fire alarms and fire sprinkler systems. Fire alarms are important because they will alert you and other occupants when the system senses smoke. Fire sprinklers are important because they will help extinguish a fire before it gets out of hand.
Upon moving into an apartment you should know where your nearest pull station and fire extinguisher are. Pull stations are alarm boxes with a pull bar. They are often mounted on a wall within five feet from an exit door.
You should also have an escape plan prepared once you move into an apartment. Make sure that you know all of your exit locations. If you are not on the first floor, make sure that you know where all of the stairwells are. Elevators should not be used as an evacuation route.
In the Event of a Fire
If you are in your apartment and the fire alarm sounds it is vital that you get out of your building as quickly and safely as possible. Before exiting your apartment make sure that you have your key. Then feel the door before opening it. If the door is hot then you need to find another exit, if the door is cool open it and continue on your evacuation route. When exiting your building close all doors behind you. This will help slow the fires path.
In the event you are not able to evacuate your apartment because smoke and fire are blocking your exits, go back into your apartment. Make sure that your doors are closed and the cracks around the door are stuffed with wet towels. Then call 911 to inform the fire department that you are trapped. Sit by the window and signal with a bright colored cloth or flash light until help arrives.
If you are living in an apartment complex it is vital that you are prepared for a fire. Your home should be a safe space for you to relax, but you always need to be ready for the worst.
-The IFS Team