If you live in an apartment or condominium you need to know how to get out quickly if a fire starts. Use these tips to stay safe.

Building fire safety

  • Don’t prop open exit or stairway doors. These are installed to slow the spread of heat and smoke if there is a fire.
  • Speak to your apartment manager if you see a damaged smoke alarm, fire extinguisher or an emergency light that has burned out.
  • Make sure your apartment has working smoke alarms. Have a smoke alarm inside each sleeping room. Test them every month. Replace the batteries every year. Tell your apartment manager if you think there is a problem with one of your smoke alarms.

Be prepared

Create an escape plan. Discuss how you will get outside. Practice your plan.

  • Count the number of doors there are between your apartment and the nearest fire exit. Memorize the number in case you have to find the exit in the dark.
  • Know where all the exit doors and stairs are on your floor.
  • Learn your building evacuation plan if you have one. Create and practice an escape plan for your own apartment.

In the event of a fire, stay calm.

Move to the exit as you have practiced. Call the fire department once you are outside.

  • If your door feels warm to the touch, do not attempt to open it. Call 911 and tell the dispatcher your apartment number and that you can’t open your door.
  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape. Cover vents.
  • Wait at a window and signal for help with a flashlight or by waving a white cloth.
  • If your apartment door is cool to the touch, open it slowly. Stay low and check for smoke or fire in the hallway. If the hallway is safe, follow your building’s evacuation plan.
  • Never use an elevator to escape a fire. Always use the stairs.

Wait outside for the fire department

Once you are outside, move away from the building. Give firefighters and fire trucks plenty of space.

  • Stay outside. Do not go back inside for any reason.
  • If you think someone is still inside, tell firefighters where you think they are.
  • Wait until firefighters tell you it’s safe to go back inside.

 

For more information and sefety tips, visit https://www.usfa.fema.gov/