What To Do If There's A Fire In Your Apartment

Here at Contemporary Management Concepts, LLLP, the utmost priority across all of our Gainesville apartment properties is our residents’ safety and security. Beyond merely providing properties with safety features such as front door cameras, controlled access gates, or on-site security, we aim to provide our residents with the necessary knowledge to stay safe amidst an emergency. With any luck, you’ll never have to experience what it’s like to evacuate a building that’s on fire. However, knowing what steps to take in such a situation can end up saving the life of yourself and those who live with you. Accordingly, we would like to outline a few fire safety practices residents can implement starting today, as well as what to do in the event a fire breaks out in your building. Take some time to review and memorize the following fire safety tips.

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Fire Safety Prep

In mere moments a small fire can grow into a life-threatening blaze. In the event of a fire, you won’t have enough time to figure out an escape plan on the fly. This is why it’s vital to have an emergency escape plan in place. Be aware of how many doors are between your apartment and where the nearest fire exit is located. Memorize where all the exit doors and stairs are in your building. Learn and routinely practice utilizing any fire escape plans/routes that exist for your apartment complex. If your building doesn’t have an existing fire escape plan — make one. Craft an escape plan that follows the fastest, safest route to an exit, and share that plan with your roommates and neighbors. Additionally, be aware of any alternative ways you can take should your initial path become blocked.

If you live on the ground floor, decide which window would be best to use as an escape option if flames block the way to your building’s exit doors. Ensure this window, and any others you could use to escape, remain easily accessible and unobstructed. 

Here are a few other simple fire safety tips:

What To Do During A Fire

The moment you become aware of a fire in your unit or building, your only goal is to evacuate the building. If a fire begins in your unit, stay calm, pull the nearest fire alarm, then go outside and call 911. 

In the unfortunate event a fire alarm goes off in your building, adhere to the following steps to stay safe:

Calmly Evacuate

Most importantly, don’t panic. You have designated escape routes; all you have to do is use them. First, grab your keys if your exits are blocked, and you have to head back to your apartment. Next, begin calmly following your practiced escape route. When evacuating, never go through a door without first placing the back of your hand on its handle to check if it’s hot. If you come across a door with a hot handle, there is a fire on the other side, and you should take an alternative route. 

Stay Low When Evacuating

When evacuating, stay low to the ground to avoid inhaling any smoke. Breathing in a copious amount of smoke or poisonous air tends to be more harmful than actual flames and may even cause someone to pass out. If you arrive somewhere with thick smoke along your exit route, drop to the floor and crawl towards your exit. 

Stay Put If You Can’t Evacuate

If you find yourself unable to escape, stay put. Don’t try to rush through a hall full of smoke and flames, and do not jump out of a high-up window. Instead, start stuffing wet towels and other linens under your doors to limit the amount of smoke coming in. Cover up any vents with smoke coming out of them as well. Then, contact the fire department and inform them you’re still in the building. Tell them which unit you’re in, and stay put until they come to get you. If you can’t contact the fire department, open your window and signal for help.

Once Outside Do Not Reenter

Once you have successfully evacuated, do not reenter the building until the fire department has deemed it safe. If you’re aware of any neighbors or pets that may still be in the building, inform the on-scene firefighters where they might be trapped. 

Fires are scary. But, if you practice a safety plan and adhere to protocol, you can maximize your chances of making it out safe and sound.