What do I do if my building is on fire?
Although apartment fires are a scenario that no one likes to think about, it’s an important topic that every apartment resident should consider.
If such a scary and potentially devastating scenario happens, it’s best to have a plan that you can quickly put into action. That way you can ensure the safety of you, your household, and your neighbors. Without a plan, the results could be less than optimal.
To give you peace of mind and help you be better prepared if such an unfortunate incident were to occur, we present the following safety tips for apartment residents.
Fire Safety Tip #1: Maintain Your Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are lifesavers. They alert everyone in each apartment and the entire building when a potential fire emergency occurs. By law, every apartment has several functional smoke detectors throughout to help keep residents safe and alert. However, these emergency resources only work if they are properly maintained.
One of the main causes of non-functioning smoke detectors is a very simple one: expired batteries. To ensure that your apartment smoke detectors are working properly, replace your batteries twice a year. The easiest way to remind yourself of this much-needed maintenance is to replace batteries at the same time every year. Most folks schedule this maintenance measure on the same dates as Daylight Savings Time. Every spring and fall, when they set their clocks back or forward, they also get in the habit of replacing their smoke detector batteries.
Once the batteries are replaced, residents should test their smoke detectors (using the little button on the front of each detector) once a month to make sure they are still functioning and/or the batteries are still working.
If your smoke detector is not working, even after replacing the batteries, be sure to notify your property manager and maintenance manager immediately. It is imperative for your safety and the safety of your neighbors that your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Your property manager and maintenance team will take immediate action and replace your faulty smoke detector as soon as possible.
Fire Safety Tip #2: Create an Evacuation Plan
In the event that your apartment or building is on fire, do you know how to quickly and safely evacuate your unit? If not, it’s time to create an evacuation plan.
Your first step is to determine how many doors there are between your apartment and the nearest fire exits in your building. Once you determine where all your exit doors are located, practice leaving your apartment in a quick but calm and orderly fashion. Be sure to close all apartment doors and exit doors behind you as you go. This helps contain the fire to its point of origin and helps reduce the risk of it spreading to other areas of the building.
If you live in a building with elevators, never use them to evacuate. A fire could shut down the electricity and prevent the elevator from operating. Always use the staircases to exit your building. For residents who live on the top floor of a building, a folding, rope escape ladder that can hook to a window frame or balcony railing is always a wise fire safety investment.
Fire Safety Tip #3: Remain Outside
Once you evacuate your apartment, remain outside the building. Call 911 immediately and maintain a safe distance from the building. During cold weather, you can seek shelter in your vehicle if it’s parked a safe distance from the building.
If a roommate or neighbor is still in the building after your exit, do not go back in the building to help them. Instead, you should inform the fire department as soon as they arrive on the scene. If you know the exact location of a trapped individual, this will help the fire officials determine the best course of action.
Do not reenter your building until the fire department has declared that the fire is extinguished and the building is safe to enter.
Using these safety tips, you’ll be better prepared to safely exit your building in the event of a fire emergency.
At Reinhold Residential, we take the safety of our residents seriously. That is why many of our residential properties feature lobby attendants who are on duty 24 hours a day/seven days a week along with a maintenance team that’s on-call 24 hours a day.
Contact our leasing office today to learn more about our various resident safety measures, popular amenities, and currently available apartments.