Fire Safety Tips for High-Rise Condominiums
When it comes to living in a condominium or apartment, it is important to keep fire safety in mind. However, this becomes especially true when living in a high-rise condominium. Although your building may have security systems in place such as smoke and fire alarms, it is still important to develop a fire escape plan so you are as prepared as possible.
High-rise condominiums have additional features that smaller buildings do not such as elevators, extra stairwells, and sometimes indoor hallways. To practice fire safety in Chicago you will want to keep in mind all of the possible exits. These features can result in a blockage if there is a fire and several tenants are running out. The most important part is to remain as calm as possible. You will then want to ensure that you have a plan for those who require special provisions such as children, the elderly, anyone who is handicap, and pets. Assign each family member an exact process.
The following tips are helpful for any fire but also in particular for high-rise condominiums:
- Move quickly and remember that smoke is just as dangerous as fire. Smoke rises, thus, if you are on the higher levels make sure you still move just as quickly to get outside.
- Never use the elevator. High-rise condominiums often have elevators, but when there is a fire do not use the elevator, even if it is functioning. Oftentimes this seems as the quickest way to get out but it could result in you getting trapped.
- When avoiding smoke, even if you feel okay, it is important to still crawl and stay low to the ground. Cover your mouth and nose with whatever you can. In the moment the smoke may not affect you, but it can harm you later on after your adrenaline wears off.
- If you have to go through several doors on your way out, make sure you first check the fire isn’t on the opposite side of the door. You can do this by touching the door knob. If the door knob is hot, the fire could be right outside the door. Prepare yourself when opening a door and if the fire is heavily concentrated or if there is high concentration of smoke then close the door immediately.
- Use the simplest route if it is passable. If you are able to take your way outside like you would normally, then do so. Keeping to the areas and exits you know well is best if possible.
- Do not waste time gathering items and belongings. Make sure you move quickly and get out as fast as possible.
- If you are going down the stairwell walk while holding the handrail in case any of the stairs give out.
- Never go back up the stairs or back into the building. If there is someone you are aware of or think needs help, tell the rescue team where you believe they are located.
- If you find that you are trapped in your home and unable to escape, do not break the window. You can open the window a little bit to let smoke escape. Do not jump as you may not survive the fall.