Fire Safety Part 2

Last Updated: May 1, 2008By

The Santa Ana winds can bring about fires faster than any fire squad can contain them, so it is best be prepared to deal with them efficiently and to ensure none of your tenants is hurt. Here is some more precautions and what to do once a fire is in the apartment. It comes from

Tips for living safely in apartment buildings or mobile home communities:

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms that work.
    The Fire Code requires working smoke alarm(s) in every apartment unit/mobile home. Existing apartments/mobile homes require smoke alarms in the hallway outside sleeping areas. Newly constructed apartments/mobile homes now require them IN the sleep room, as well. Remember to check the batteries once a month, and replace the batteries once a year.
  • The apartment/mobile home complex is required to have a fire extinguisher within 75-feet travel distance.
    If extinguishers are not provided outside the apartments/mobile homes, then each apartment/mobile home is required to have one.
  • The Fire Code states that no person shall 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.
  • Don’t park in front of fire hydrants and don’t 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.
    In 2001, the most common cause of apartment/mobile home fires was careless disposal of smoking materials.
  • Have a fire escape plan. Practice it.
    Know at least two ways to get out of your apartment/mobile home. Pick a family meeting place outside the apartment building/mobile home. Don’t use elevators (they may take you right into the fire.)
  • Make sure there’s a number on your apartment/mobile home door.
    If there isn’t, contact management.
  • Keep a copy of your apartment/mobile home number and apartment building number, inside your apartment/mobile home, near the phone.
    The information will then be handy for babysitters, and it will be there if you panic.
  • Complex owners and managers need to be sure gated driveways are accessible to firefighters.
    75-percent of multi-housing complexes and mobile home communities are now gated. Work with the fire department to make sure access and requirements are met.
  • Don’t 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 or community.
    If there’s a fire, they may have extra difficulty getting out. You may be able to help them, or you can direct firefighters to the elderly person’s apartment/mobile home.

What to do if there’s a fire

  • Get out of the apartment.
  • 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.
  • 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 can’t 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 you’re trapped.
  • Stay calm.

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