If you missed Part 1 of this series, be sure to check that out first for even more advice!
Many people can escape a one or two-story home safely if a fire breaks out – and even prepare for it advance; however, for people that live in apartments, it can be much more challenging.
Aside from different safety tips, escape routes, planning, and what you can actually control may be much more different.
Apartment Fire Safety Precautions
Do your part for the entire community by not propping open exit or stairway doors. Alarms are dependant upon fire not escaping to sound as quickly as possible. The fire also needs oxygen to survive and open doors can cause it to spread more rapidly.
If you have damaged smoke alarms, expired fire extinguishers, or emergency light that are burnt out – notify the apartment manager. Don’t just overlook these items as they are not only for your own safety but for everyone in the building. There should be a smoke alarm installed in every room of the apartment, as well as, the inside of all sleeping rooms.
Test the smoke alarms and replace the batteries at least once per year – and particularly if you are considering an apartment for rent, take a close look at the fire safety features and ask if there is a current fire-escape plan in place. If there is not, you need to make your own and be aware of the best option take. Escape – or stay and defend.
Fire Safety Options for Apartments
Notifications can be slowed based on closed doors from the common areas, on top of a ton of other dangers that may make an escape more risky than staying and defending your unit.
The best advice is to stay calm and follow these procedures to make a rational decision on whether to stay or flee to safety. If your door exiting to the common exit feels warm to the touch – do not attempt to open it. Call 9-1-1 immediately and inform them of your apartment number to let them know you are still inside.
Next, defend your home. Stuff all of the cracks around the door with rags, towels, bedding or tape, and cover all of your vents to minimize your exposure to incoming smoke inhalation. Once you have taken these precautions – goto a window along with a flashlight, white cloth, or any means you have to draw attention to the fact you are in the unit.
If you touch the exit door from your unit and it is still cool – flee. Stay low. Check for smoke or fire in the hallway, and follow the building fire evacuation plan or the one you have made. Do not under any circumstance enter an elevator if you suspect a fire is in the building. Use only the stairway and if you are unable – stay and defend using the tips above.