Apartment Fires – Causes and Prevention

Fires in a residential setting, whether in a single-family home or an apartment, can be frightening. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe and that you know what to do in the event of a fire.

Today, we’re going to discuss apartment fires – what starts them and what you can do to minimize the chance that one occurs. Let’s jump right in.

What Causes Apartment Fires

Apartment fires are caused by a whole myriad of things – ranging from cooking and kitchen fires to heating equipment malfunctions, smoking materials, and the like. Most of the things you’d think would put you at risk for fire in a single-family home are the same kinds of things that would put you at risk in an apartment setting. That is – with the exception of a few dozen other people living in the complex alongside you – but we’ll get into that later.

Staying Proactive About Prevention

While there are plenty of traditional steps you can take to make sure you’re safe from a fire in your apartment – there are some additional steps you can take as well. For one – before you decide to rent an apartment, make sure the building has performed a fire inspection and is up to code. Ask about things like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. And most important of all – ask your leasing agent for all of this information. They should have it both ready and accessible.

While in your apartment – there are other things you can do – most of which involve traditional means of fire prevention such as not leaving cooking unattended, keeping matches and lighters where kids can’t get to them, not smoking in bed and the like. But you should also be mindful of your space. That means not using your balcony for storage or cooking. That means being diligent about replacing worn electrical cords and making sure you have appropriate power strips. Most of all – it’s understanding that fire prevention is an ongoing, constant part of your consciousness.

What To Do In The Event Of A Fire

First and foremost, apartment fires are pretty perilous situations and you need to be on your toes when exiting a building. First, know where fire extinguishers are in your building and in your home. If an extinguisher is small and portable, you might want to consider bringing it with you.

Second, you should check any door before you open it. If the door is cool, be sure to open it slowly and stay low to the ground as you exit the building. If the door is warm, seal it (preferably) with a soaked or wet towel/fabric and then head to the nearest window. Immediately call 911 to let them know you’re here and signal for help. Be sure to give them your exact location.

Third, if you do leave your apartment, ALWAYS take the stairs and NEVER get into an elevator.

And last but certainly not least, once you’re out of the building, don’t go back in for any reason whatsoever. Call 911 or ask a member of the fire department that has responded.

Remember, fire safety is something you need to be conscious of at all times. Keep these tips in mind in the event that you ever encounter an apartment fire.

If you need more information on this or any other fire or life safety topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.

Common Causes of Workplace Fires

There’s a lot that can be done to avoid workplace fires and the best defense is always prevention. But sometimes despite our best efforts, fires can still occur – causing injuries, damage, and countless other issues.

While fires can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, here are a few of the most common causes of workplace fires.

Electrical fires

A good portion of fires are electrical fires and they can happen from a whole range of things that could go wrong. Sometimes it’s an equipment malfunction, sometimes it’s a power overload, and sometimes it’s just a freak accident.

It’s important that every workplace has an electrical fire safety plan in place, specifically. They should know what extinguishers to use and what will work to fight the fire in the event they need to. You should also be sure that you’re inspecting wires, keeping up on your suppression system’s maintenance, and the like.

Flammable materials

There are literally thousands of chemicals that are used in workplaces all over the United States. Improper handling of these materials can cause a fire. Worse yet, when these liquids or compounds are spilled, they give off vapors that can be harmful to your lungs and the air around you. Those vapors can also ignite – making them doubly dangerous. Flammable liquid spills should be cleaned up immediately.

Be sure your employees are trained thoroughly on all OSHA guidelines when it comes to flammables.

Human error

Things happen and as humans, we’re not immune to error. Sometimes the water supply is turned off when there’s a fire. Sometimes people mishandle materials. Sometimes people don’t pay attention during safety training. Whatever it is – humans are a major cause of workplace fires.

The best you can do is to make sure your safety systems are in good, working condition and that you’re doing your best to make sure that your staff is prepared in the event a fire happens.

At the end of the day, fire prevention should be something that is considered part of everyone’s job. That means keeping workspaces clutter-free and safe from fire hazards. It means not plugging too many things into a wall. It means taking care of chemicals and flammable materials. As is the case with anything – the best prevention is education and training, so make sure that fire prevention is an integral part of what you do.

If you have questions about this or any other fire protection topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.