|Living Safely In Your Apartment|
in apartment complexes live so close together, there are special areas of
concern when it comes to fire safety. Apartment complexes are simply a series
of small, connected homes. Its important to remember that what you
do in your apartment can affect people living six-doors down, or even in
the next building.
Apartment Living Safety Tips
What To Do In Case of Fire
> Often, there is only one way in or out -- no back door.
> Congested parking can mean blocked fire hydrants and/or blocked fire lanes.
> An apartment building is, in effect, a very densely populated neighborhood. (If the downstairs or next-door apartment is on fire, it can spread quickly to adjoining apartments in a matter of minutes.)
> Without properly working smoke alarms, it make take a long time before you find out that another part of the apartment building is on fire. Consequently, this could cut your chances of getting out of the building alive.
Tips for Living Safely in Apartment Buildings
> Make sure you have smoke alarms that work.
> Check the smoke alarm batteries once a month & replace the batteries once a year.
> Purchase an all-purpose fire extinguisher for your unit.
> Do not use fixed or portable barbecues in or under any attached covered patios, balconies, covered walkways or roof overhangs. When in use, barbecues should be located on ground level and be a minimum of 5-feet from buildings, structures, covered walkways or roof overhangs.
> Dont park in front of fire hydrants and dont park in fire lanes. Respecting the fire restrictions may literally save your life. When friends visit, be sure to remind them to park only in appropriate parking areas.
> Never leave smoking materials burning. Never smoke in bed.
> Have a fire escape plan. Practice it.
> Know at least two ways to get out of your apartment. Pick a family meeting place outside the apartment building. Dont use elevators (they may take you right into the fire.)
> Make sure theres a number on your apartment door. If there isnt, contact management.
> Keep a copy of your apartment number and apartment building number, inside your apartment, near the phone. The information will then be handy for babysitters, and it will be there if you panic.
> Dont run extension cords under carpets or from unit-to-unit. They can easily overheat. Extension cords are for temporary use only. They are not to be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
> Get acquainted with the elderly folks in your building. If theres a fire, they may have extra difficulty getting out. You may be able to help them, or you can direct firefighters to the elderly persons apartment.
What to Do if Theres a Fire
> Once out STAY OUT! Do not go back in for ANY reason.
> Call 9-1-1 from a safe location.
> Give the dispatcher as much accurate information as you can.
> Get out of the apartment.
> Use your fire escape plan. Go to the designated family meeting place.
> Try to let neighbors know to get out. Help elderly folks or families who have many children.
> Have someone meet the fire trucks when they arrive, if it can be done safely.
> Keep the fire lanes open.
> If you cant get out, use a mobile phone to stay in touch with 9-1-1 dispatchers. Shine a flashlight or wave a sheet out the window to alert firefighters that youre trapped.
> Stay calm.
Finally, swimming pools pose a separate hazard for people who live in apartment complexes. Pools must be fenced, and the gates must close and latch on their own. If children use the pool, an adult must always be inside the gate, in the pool area, constantly watching the children. See also our water safety page.