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High-Rise Apartment Building
Fire Safety

According to research by the Home Safety Council, fires and burns are the third leading cause of unintentional home injury and related deaths.

If you live in a high-rise apartment building that has more than two floors, follow the tips below. They will help you stay safe from fire.

PREVENTION

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  • Select an apartment building that has sprinklers in every apartment, lobby, hallway and stairwell.
Home Safety - Kitchen Poison Safety
  • Meet with your landlord or building manager to learn about the fire safety features in your building.
  • Learn who is responsible for maintaining the fire safety systems in your building. Report any damage or malfunction to building management.
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  • Know the locations of all available exit stairs from your floor.
  • Find all the stairs that you can use to exit from your floor if there is a fire.
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  • Make sure all exit and stairwell doors are not locked or blocked by security bars and are clear of clutter.
  • Make sure that you can get to all exits and the doors to the stairs. The doors should not be locked or blocked by security bars.
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  • Know your building's evacuation plan.
  • Make sure your building manager places the evacuation plan in all high-traffic areas, such as the lobby.
  • Practice with your family what you will do if there is a fire. Find all the exits in your building. If you have a written plan, mark the exists on the plan. Make sure you agree on an outside meeting place.

ESCAPE

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  • If there is a fire, pull the fire alarm on your way out to call the fire department. Other people in the building will hear the alarm, too.
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  • If you hear the fire alarm, feel the doorknob and the edges of the door before opening it. If there is no heat, open the door a few inches. Check for fire or smoke in the next room or hall.
  • If there is no fire or smoke in the hallway or stairway, follow your building's evacuation plan.
  • Close all doors behind you as you leave. Take your keys.
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  • If the doorknob is warm or you feel any heat at the edge of the door, try to find another way to get out.
  • If there is an outdoor fire escape from your apartment, use it.
  • If you can’t get out of your apartment, put wet towels or sheets around the door and vents to keep smoke out.
  • If you have a phone, call the fire department at 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Tell them exactly where you are. (For example, say, “I am in the Martin Towers Building on 3471 Jefferson Street. I am in Apartment 3B on the third floor. The apartment is on the Washington Street side of the building.”
  • Open a window a few inches and wave a bright cloth to show people where you are.
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  • If you can leave the building, use the stairs. Never use the elevator to escape a fire.
Home Safety - Kitchen Poison Safety
  • After you leave the building, go to your outside meeting place and stay there.
Home Safety - Kitchen Poison Safety
  • Call the fire department immediately. Tell them if someone is trapped in your building. Do not assume that someone has already called the fire department.
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