Condo or Apartment Building Residents: Be Prepared in the Event of an Emergency

Firefighters on ladders putting fire out in brownstone buildingLiving in a condo or apartment building inevitably means two things: multiple floors and panic in the event of an emergency.

People who live in multi-unit dwellings should plan ahead and know what to do in the event of an emergency. It’s important to know fire safety features in your building and to work with neighbors and management to keep your building as safe as possible.

Here are the steps you should take to prepare for an emergency, and during the course of an emergency:

> Look for a full sprinkler system inside the apartment or condo buildings before moving in. Choosing a building that is fully protected by a sprinkler system is best, but you could also ask the landlord or management to consider installing a sprinkler system.
> Meet with your landlord or management to learn about fire safety features in your building; alarms, sprinklers, communication procedures and evacuation plans.
> Know the location of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one isn’t an option.
> Make sure all exits are clearly marked and are not locked or blocked by clutter.
> If there is a fire, try to pull the fire alarm on your way out to alert your neighbors.
> If an announcement is made throughout the building, listen carefully and follow directions.
> Use the stairs to exit the building - never use the elevator during an emergency unless directed to do so by the fire department or police.

Escape Know-How
> GO to your outside meeting place and stay there.
> CALL the fire department and if you know of anyone trapped inside the building, notify the fire department.
> If you can’t exit your unit because of fire, smoke or a disability, STUFF wet towels or sheets under and around the exit door and vents to keep smoke out.
> If unable to exit, CALL the fire department and tell them where you’re located inside the building.
> OPEN a window slightly and wave a bright cloth to signal your location.

Consider downloading our exclusive Condo and Apartment Building Safety Tip Sheet to pass this information onto your neighbors and loved ones!