Laura Florencia
December 15, 2022

What to Do If a Fire Occurs in Your Apartment Building

Apartments are densely populated residential areas. In each apartment building there are usually 50-300 units with residents. Education on what to do in the event of a fire is essential. In this blog, we will discuss what to do if a fire occurs in your apartment building.

The threat is real

According to the National Fire Protection Association Journal, there were 95,000 apartment fires in 2017 — 19 percent of this year's total structure fires. Unfortunately, 2,630 people died from house fires that year. it is good practice to be proactive. If you see a broken smoke alarm or broken glass on the fire extinguisher, don't ignore it. Notify your apartment building maintenance team immediately.

If you see smoke or fire in your unit or building, please follow these steps to stay safe.

Stay calm

There is a natural human instinct to get out as fast as possible. But you could actually be putting yourself in even more danger by trying to do that. If the fire has spread, it can be an unfavorable choice.
Fire safety starts with you. Be prepared for your reaction and protect yourself, your children and your pets. It is very important to know the location of the exits on your floor. If anything is blocked by smoke and fire, you should know what your alternative options are.

Some basic fire safety preparations on your part include:

  • Don't leave your apartment without your key. If you have to turn around because of a fire in the hall and smoke on the stairs, or a blocked entrance, you'll need a key to get back to your apartment.
  • Always check the doorknob before opening it. Heat is an indicator of the flames behind the door. Knowing how to tell if it's safe to open a door in a fire can save your life.
  • Know where all the exits and stairs are on your floor
  • Never take the elevator. If a ladder is the obvious and safe option, then use it.
  • Get down low if there is smoke in the hallway, it will be easier for you to breathe if you stay low to the ground
  • Be sure to count the number of doors that are between your apartment and the nearest fire exit
  • Review your building evacuation plan
  • Practice escape drills for your apartment. This is especially important if you have children and/or pets. Designate a place outside where everyone should meet if you split up.
  • If the fire starts to spread, remember that your goal is to escape

Call 113 (Indonesian Fire Department)

If you see or smell smoke, call 113. Tell them where you are in the building. If you're in a large burning building, your location can help firefighters get to you if you can't get out on your own.

If you must leave, stay low to the ground

If you find yourself in a puff of smoke, move quickly, covering your head and hair. Lower your head (12 to 24 inches above the floor) and close your eyes as often as possible. Smoke and toxic air can injure more people than actual fire, so crawl low under the smoke to get out.

If you can't leave, stay where you are

First responders say that if your apartment isn't threatened, you should stay. Make sure to put a wet towel, rag, blanket or tape under your door. And cover all vents in your apartment to help limit smoke entry. Whatever happens, don't break windows and don't try to jump out of your apartment. Wait for first responders to arrive.

If you are outside the building, don't enter. Wait until the firefighters tell you it's safe to return before returning home. If you think neighbors or pets are still in the apartment building, notify the fire department. Be sure to let them know where you think they are in the apartment complex.

Make fire alert a habit

Apartment fires are the result of daily activities. Think cooking, heating, using appliances, and electrical malfunctions. Keep an apartment fire safety guide handy for easy reference. Constant fire threat. By developing safer habits, you can help reduce your risk. Always be careful and have a fire action plan you can rely on.

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