FIRE SAFETY FOR APARTMENT BUILDINGS
Recent fatal fires in high-rise structures have prompted people to rethink fire safety. A key to fire safety for those who live and work in these special structures is to practice specific high-rise fire safety and prevention behaviors. The United States Fire Administration (USFA), a directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), would like you to know there are simple fire safety steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property in high-rise fires.
BE PREPARED FOR A HIGH-RISE FIRE EMERGENCY
* Never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Fire doors provide a way out during the fire and slow the spread of fire and smoke. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.
* Learn your buildings evacuation plans. Make sure everyone knows what to do if the fire alarm flashes. Plan and practice your escape plan together.
* Be sure your building manager posts evacuation plans in high traffic areas, such as lobbies.
* Learn the flashes of your building’s fire alarm and post emergency numbers near all telephones.
* Know who is responsible for maintaining the fire safety systems. Make sure nothing blocks these devices and promptly report any sign of damage or malfunction to the building management.
DO NOT PANIC IN THE EVENT OF A HIGH-RISE FIRE EMERGENCY
* Do not assume someone else has already called the fire department.
* Immediately call your local emergency number. Early notification of the fire department is important. The dispatcher will ask questions regarding the emergency. Stay calm and give the dispatcher the information they request.
IF THE DOOR IS WARM TO THE TOUCH
the door with the back of your hand. If the door feels warm to the touch, do not attempt to open it. Stay in your apartment of office.
* Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke out.
* If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again to tell them exactly where you are located. Do this even if you can see fire apparatus on the street below.
* Wait at a window and signal for help with a flashlight or by waving a sheet.
* If possible, open the window at the top and bottom, but do not break it, you may need to close the window if smoke rushes in.
* Be patient. Rescuing all the occupants of a high-rise building can take several hours.
AFTER A HIGH-RISE FIRE EMERGENCY
* Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason.
* Inform the fire department if you know of anyone trapped in the building.
* Only enter when the fire department tells you if is safe to do so.
MAINTAIN AND INSTALL WORKING SMOKE ALARMS
No matter where you live, always install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility….Fire Stops With You!
For More Information Contact:
The United States Fire Administration
Office of Fire Management Programs
16825 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Or visit the USFA website: