CONDO LIVING – IN CASE OF A FIRE EMERGENCY

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No one wants to think that a fire can happen in their condo property, however if it does being prepared for any situation can help save your life and your fellow neighbours lives. 

FIRE SAFETY PREPARATION     

Locate all stairwells leading from your unit to the street level for possible evacuation.  For a copy of the approved fire safety plan you should contact your condominium property manager or the local fire prevention office.

If you have a special need and would require assistance in case of an emergency evacuation, you must complete a Special Assistance, which should be available through your property manager.  Your form will be entered into the Fire Safety Plan which is available to the Fire Department upon arrival in case of an emergency.  They would be able to assist you in case of an evacuation of the building.

FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM     

Monthly/Annual Tests, must be performed in all buildings in order to meet the Fire Code. Notices are posted to residents in advance and before the inspection/ testing starts.

Fire Inspection in units. During the annual fire inspection it is necessary to access all individual units to check smoke detectors, heat sensors and valves. Many times, a representative designated by the condo corporation will accompany the fire inspection company to the individual units.

Quarterly Fire Drills.  For schedule, please verify with your condo property manager. If this is not happening in your building, you should confirm with the local fire prevention office. 

IF YOU DISCOVER FIRE     

  • Leave the fire area
  • Close all doors behind you
  • Activate the Fire Alarm by using pull stations
  • Use exit stairwells and leave the building immediately
  • Telephone the Fire Department from a safe place by dialing 911 (Never assume that this has been done). Know the correct address and location of the building.
  • Do NOT use elevators
  • Do NOT return until it is declared safe to do so by the Fire Department Official
     

KNOW THE ALARM SOUNDS     

Most buildings are equipped with single stage fire alarm system.  The evacuation alarm (continuous alarm) is your warning to evacuate safely from building.

IF YOU HEAR THE EVACUATION FIRE ALARM         

  • Before opening the door, feel knob for heat. If not hot, brace yourself against door and open slightly. If you feel air pressure or hot draft, close the door quickly.
  • If you find no fire or smoke in the corridor, close door behind you, take unit key and leave by nearest exit.
  • Do not use the condominium elevators.
  • If you encounter smoke in the corridor or stairwell, consider taking an alternative exit where it may be clear, or return to your unit.
  • Listen for instructions or information which may be given by authorized personnel.
  • If instructions indicate or situation warrants that an evacuation is necessary, then take unit key, close door behind you and leave by the nearest exit.

IF YOU CANNOT LEAVE YOUR UNIT     

  • Close the door.
  • Unlock door for possible entry of fire fighters.
  • Dial 911 and tell the Fire Department where you are, then signal to fire fighters by waving a sheet from a window.
  • Seal all cracks where smoke may get in by using wet towels or sheets or masking tape.
  • Crouch low to the floor if smoke comes into the room.
  • If suite fills with smoke, move to balcony (close door behind you) - bring a phone if possible.
  • If you have no balcony or it is not easily accessible, move to the most protected room and partially open a window for air (close window if smoke comes in).
  • Wait to be rescued. Remain calm. Do not jump.
  • Listen for instructions or information which may be given by authorized personnel.

STAY OR GO     

  • If you plan to stay in your suite, protect yourself from smoke.  Usually, staying low to the ground will help lessen smoke inhalation.
     
  • Most of the time, the best thing to do in a fire is to leave the building as soon as possible. If you let this opportunity pass, you must be prepared to protect yourself from smoke and other effects of fire until you are rescued or told by the fire department that it is safe to leave.

WHEN SHOULD I GO?     

  • As soon as possible when you hear the fire alarm or discover a fire.
  • When the fire is in your condo suite.
  • When the fire is on your floor or the floor below you.

WHEN SHOULD I STAY IN THE SUITE          

  • If you encounter smoke in the corridor on your floor.
  • If you encounter smoke in the exit stairs.
  • If instructed to remain in the suite by fire department personnel handling the fire emergency.
  • If you are physically unable to use the stairs.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW     

Experience shows that people who evacuate in the early stages of a fire can safely reach the outside. Most people die because they attempt to leave the building through smoke-filled corridors and stairs in the advanced stages of a fire.

Although the conditions are different for each fire, this could occur as early as 10 minutes after the start of the fire. If you made the decision to stay in the suite during the fire emergency, do not change your mind and attempt to evacuate later.

If you encounter smoke during evacuation, look for an alternate route that is clear of smoke, return to your suite or seek refuge with other occupants on the nearest floor. Do not use the elevator for evacuation (except under direction of the fire department) and never go to the roof since it is not designed as an exit.

Many people are reluctant to evacuate unless they are certain that there is a real fire. This problem is made worse by nuisance alarms. Remember, a real fire grows for every minute that you delay and you may lose the only opportunity to evacuate safely.

For this reason, all occupants who are able should begin evacuation procedures immediately upon hearing the alarm. If you made an initial decision to stay in your suite when a fire emergency occurs, do not attempt to evacuate in the advanced stages of the fire.

You cannot outrun the effects of fire and smoke and will be placing yourself in extreme danger. Each suite is designed as a fire compartment and will afford you a degree of protection during the fire emergency. However, smoke spread into your suite is very likely so be prepared to protect yourself from smoke for the duration of the emergency. This may be a long time.

For more information about what your Property Management Company should be doing for your building and fire safety email us at info@centralerin.com