In Case Of Fire: 7 Things You Should Do To Prevent Fire In Your Condo
Living in a high-rise building has its perks, especially in terms of safety from outsiders and sometimes from environmental disasters like flood. However, it gets tricky when it comes to man-made risks like fire. Fire safety in condominiums and buildings in general involves a lot of considerations: fire detection and control, fire-proofing through building materials, as well as evacuation procedures. Definitely, buildings should first be evaluated based on the building code. The next prevention measures then lie on the hands of the residents and the management of the building.
As March is fire prevention month, here are things you should do to prevent fire in your condominium.
1 | Discuss Fire Protection System
Before you even purchase a unit from a condominium development, it’s smart to always ask about its safety procedures for certain risks, which in this case is fire. If you don’t see a concrete or a well-planned fire safety procedure, it’s safer to find another development. On the other hand, if you there is a feasible plan in place, it is something that should affect your decision to either buy or rent a unit.
2 | Fire-resistant Material
Once you’ve decided to buy or rent the condominium unit–which is typically bare–you are given a great canvas to work design. When constructing your condominium’s interiors, opt for fire-proof materials such as dual-paned glass or tempered glass, concrete, stucco, gypsum or drywall, and bricks. Some of these materials may cost more than the usual construction supplies, but these will definitely go a long way in terms of fire prevention and safety.
3 | Equip Your Condo With Alarms And Extinguishers
Aside from the building materials, you should also take advantage of technology to make your condo fire-proof or ready in case of fire. Although condo buildings and complexes are already equipped with smoke and fire detectors, it’s best to have your own fire safety system that’s up-to-date and can be monitored even when you’re not in your condo. Check up on these equipment every so often to see if they are still functioning. Battery operated smoke detectors should be tested at least once every three months. On the other hand, if you’re still checking out the development and you don’t find any fire safety equipment, you might want to take that building out of your options. A reputable developer will always have a dependable fire alarm system.
4 | Find The Exit
Familiarize yourself with your building. Most condo buyers or renters always fail to check out the rest of the development before sealing the deal. Once you’ve moved in, it’s best to know which way it is to certain amenities or facilities, and most importantly, the fire exit. Condos should have an evacuation map posted on each level, which is usually placed beside the fire hose or fire extinguisher, or the elevator.
5 | Avoid Fire Hazards
Electrical hazards are also fire hazards, so keep your plugs off the socket when not in use, and never overcrowd the socket either. Chemicals (flammable and those that can aggravate fire) should also be kept in a fire-safe area in the condo. Live flames such as those from cooking and other hot objects should also be kept an eye on. Do not, under any circumstances, leave a candle burning unmanned. Also, avoid placing too many things in entryways or exit doors as these objects can impede evacuation.
6 | Create An Evacuation Plan
However, no matter how you fire-proof your condo unit, fire can still occur. Maybe not in your own unit, but in your neighbor’s. Hence, we advise that you create your own evacuation plan. Know which things should be saved–valuable items, insurance policies, contracts, important identifications, and yes, your pet! If you must, have copies of these documents and put them in a go bag that you can easily grab when the accident happens.
7 | Be Cautious, But Stay Calm
While it pays to be cautious about fire safety, it’s also helps to be calm. Anticipating fire even when there are no fires happening in your building is a great way to stay safe. However, if fire does happen, keep your cool and follow your evacuation plan.