Commercial Fire Damage Safety Tips for Residents of Apartment Complexes
Blog Summary: If a fire breaks out in an apartment, it is essential that residents of the apartment building are familiar with fire safety practices.
SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is available 24/7 to provide fire, smoke, or water damage restoration services in an apartment complex. Property managers across the US rely on SERVPRO’s rapid response to fire damage. In a situation involving an entire apartment complex and many units, SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak can swiftly scale its workforce, equipment, and other resources to meet any challenge. Whether the damage is to just one unit or involves the entire complex, SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is the property damage restoration solution.
The importance of apartment fire safety
Life in an apartment complex comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges. Only the residents on the ground floor can walk out their front door to the lawn or parking lot if evacuation of the building is ever needed. Other residents must navigate steps or find their way to an elevator. Darkness, thick smoke, flames, and the loud, chaotic bustle of dozens of people scrambling to the exits make the evacuation process very challenging.
Apartment and condominium dwellers must proactively think through disaster scenarios such as a fire, tornado, violent thunderstorm, flash flood, or power outage. Preparedness in the event of a fire is crucial because of the large number of residents living so close together in an apartment complex. All occupants should be familiar with the fire safety features in the building.
Neighbors need to be vigilant and work together to ensure the building is as fire-safe as possible at all times. The top priority for every resident in an apartment complex is to know how to safely and quickly evacuate the facility in case of a fire or other emergency. Should a fire emergency arise, basic fire safety tips can save lives.
Facts about apartment fires
Fire protection and prevention experts reported the following statistics about apartment fires: “Between 2010-2014, there were 107,800 apartment fires, causing 410 deaths, 4,280 injuries and $1.2 million in property damage. January was the top month for apartment fires with 10,200. It was also the top month for deaths caused by these fires with 60. Apartment fires tend to happen in the evening hours between 3:00 -10:00 pm (45%).”
How to stay fire-safe in an apartment complex
The fire safety tips listed below are easy to follow and save lives.
- Do not prop open exit or stairway doors.
These doors are designed to stop the movement of smoke through the stairwells to other floors of the apartment complex. The thick, steel doors can hold back flames for hours. If people are trapped on upper floors, this effective fire delay gives emergency personnel time to extinguish the flames and rescue trapped residents.
- Report to the property manager damaged fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and sprinkler heads.
Residents are the eyes and ears of the property manager and maintenance supervisors who oversee the function and safety of the complex. Fire safety and detection equipment need to be operational at all times because a fire can erupt at any time, day or night.
- Alert service personnel to emergency lights that are broken or malfunctioning.
These lights play a crucial role in helping residents make their way through hallways and down steps when the power is out or smoke is thick.
- Prepare and practice.
- Count and recount the number of doors to the nearest fire exit.
- Know the location of the exit doors and stairs on every floor.
- Become familiar with the official building evacuation plan.
- Prepare and practice an individualized escape plan for the specific apartment.
- What to do in case of a fire: Stay calm!
Check the temperature of the door. If the door is warm to the touch, do not open it. Call 9-1-1. The dispatcher will want the apartment number. Be sure to inform the dispatcher that the door is warm from the nearby fire and that it is unsafe to exit the apartment.
- Seal the cracks around the door with wet towels, moist rags, or bedding. Put tape over cracks that cannot be sealed with the other materials.
- Wait by a window. Get the attention of bystanders and emergency personnel by signaling for help with a flashlight. If a flashlight is not available, wave a white cloth, pillowcase, or piece of bright clothing.
- If the door is cool to the touch, open it very cautiously. Staying low, check the hallway for smoke and fire. If a safe escape is possible, follow the building’s evacuation plan.
- Using an elevator to escape a fire is very risky. Always use the stairs. Never rely on an elevator to escape a fire.
- Wait outside and away from the building for the fire department and other first responders.
- Do not re-enter the burning building for any reason, even if flames and smoke are not evident.
- If it is suspected that someone is still inside the complex, alert the firefighters of the potential victim and explain where the occupant might be located.
- Do not go back into the apartment structure until firefighters indicate that it is safe to do so.
The SERVPRO team is available 24/7 to respond to a fire, smoke, or water damage disaster in an apartment complex in Ellis County and surrounding cities such as Corsicana, TX . To learn more about the fire and water damage restoration company, call SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak at (972) 937-1494 or email the office at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.