Previously in our series on apartment fire safety, we’ve discussed what to do to prevent a fire, or prepare just in case one happens. Today, in our last blog on our series about fire safety, we discuss what to do in the event of a fire.
The first and most important thing to remember in an apartment fire is to remain calm. Panicking will only increase the chances that you make a mistake and get yourself and your family hurt or killed. The reason we emphasized practice in the previous blog as an important step in preparation is so that in the even of an apartment fire, you don’t panic. In a loud but calm voice let your family know what to do, hold hands, and follow your escape plan.
If there’s an apartment fire and there’s visible smoke stay low. Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death by fire in the world. Smoke can cause eye and lung irritation, and much of today’s modern syntehetic materials produce toxic smoke when burned. Carbon monoxide is a common toxic gas produced from fires. It can asphyxiate you even if there’s oxygen in the room by absorbing the oxygen in your bloodstream. The heat of smoke is also bad for your respiratory system and if the air is too hot it can kill you by burning your lungs. Because heat and smoke rise, the safest place to be in a fire is low.
Test your door knobs and look under the door if you can before opening it. If your handle is hot or you see flames on the other side you shouldn’t open the door. If you open the door and there’s a large enough fire on the other side you can cause something called a backdraft. A backdraft is like an explosion caused by fresh oxygen being added to a fire that had burned up all of the fire in a room. A backdraft can cause severe burns, and death by inhaling too hot air. So if there’s an apartment fire, and you go to leave but feel the door knob is hot, don’t go through that door.
If Your Escape Route is Blocked
Sometimes in an apartment fire due to the position of the fire, or the collapse of building material, your escape route may be blocked. As we mentioned above, the most important thing is that you stay calm and try the below methods if your escape route is blocked.
Use an Alternate Route
If your escape route is blocked try and use an alternate escape route. This is why we had you plan more then one escape route from your apartment. Your apartment building should for safety reasons, have more then one exit. If one exit is blocked take the other.
Use Rope Ladder
If both your exits are blocked, or the door to exit your apartment itself is, you can use your rope ladder if you got one. This might not be practical if the room directly below yours is on fire, if your apartment is too high, or if your kids are too young.
What to do if you can’t do either of the above
If you can’t reach an alternate route or use a rope ladder then you need to wait for help. Call the fire department and tell them exactly where you are located, that way they can reach you more quickly. Block your vents and around your doors with wet towels to prevent smoke from entering, and cover your family in wet blankets if the smoke or heat get bad. Open a window a little bit and wave a flag, towel, or sheet so that fire fighters can see where you are in the apartment building.
The Apartments of Wildewood Hope you Stay Safe
The Apartments of Wildewood prepared this guide for all apartment users, regardless of where they live, and hope that no one will ever need it, but that if they do, it helps them.
At The Apartments of Wildewood, located in stunning St. Mary’s Maryland, we provide spacious homes with access to pools, an on-site gym, and maintenance whenever you need it – and have access to all the information you need to affordably rent a spacious apartment before the Super Bowl. To set up an appointment to check out an apartment rental from Apartments at Wildewood, call us at 301.737.0737 or visit the website!