Fire emergency plans look much different for high-rise tenants than they do for home and apartment residents.
With fewer exits and escape routes, unique precautions must be taken.
It takes a crystal-clear understanding of your building — exit stairs, fire alarms, safe areas, etc. — to properly prepare for a fire…
And knowing what steps to take can save precious time and help ensure you and your loved ones’ safety.
So, if you live in a high-rise, follow the essential safety tips below to build an ironclad fire emergency plan.
Fire Safety Tips for High-Rise Tenants
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers a full list of guidelines to follow when coming up with your high-rise fire safety plan.
Let’s take a look at them below:
1. When looking for a place to live, make sure to pick a building that’s fully equipped with emergency sprinklers. If you’re already settled in and your building doesn’t have them, it never hurts to appeal to your landlord or building manager about getting a system put in.
2. Learn everything you can about your building’s fire safety features, including fire alarms, sprinklers, evacuation routes and procedures, voice communication procedures, etc. You can always ask your landlord or building manager for this information.
3. Learn the locations of all exit stairwells on your floor like the back of your hand. That way, if one of them is blocked during a fire, you have other options.
4. Memorize the locations of all fire alarms in your building, especially those on your floor. Fast response is critical in any emergency, and knowing where the fire alarms are and how to use them can cut down the time it takes to report a fire.
5. If you’re unable to use the stairs for whatever reason (wheelchair, walker, injury, etc.), feel free to ask your landlord or building manager about purchasing an evacuation chair.
6. As a resident, keep the areas around any exits and stairwells clear of obstructions, litter, and other items that can block escape routes.
7. If a fire breaks out, activate the fire alarm as you leave the building to alert the fire department, your neighbors, and any staff currently inside. Use the fastest evacuation route available, and don’t forget to close all doors behind you on your way out.
8. If smoke or fire is blocking your main exit route, use the next closest option. If you have no choice but to travel through smoke, crawl under it as low as you can to make your escape.
9. In certain high-rise buildings, you may be required to retreat to a designated safe area until further notice from the fire department. During these emergencies, you’ll either be instructed by someone through the public address system or by the firefighters themselves. Until then, don’t move from the safe area, and follow whatever directions the authorities give you.
10. If you know someone is trapped in the building, call the fire department and let them know once you’ve made it to the shelter-in-place area safely.
11. If smoke or fire is trapping you in your apartment, stuff wet towels or sheets around any doors and vents to prevent the smoke from coming in. Contact the fire department immediately and let them know your location.
12. If you need to, you can slightly crack a window and wave a bright flag, cloth, or another item to show where you are. But this can cause more smoke to flood your apartment, so be ready to close the window as soon as possible.
13. Remember, evacuating high-rise tenants can be a lengthy process. So, if you can, stay in touch with the authorities to track the emergency response team’s progress.
Bonus Tip #14
So, there you have it — thirteen NFPA-approved fire-safety tips for high-rise tenants.
But before we go, we have a bonus tip for you.
One that will allow you to drastically improve emergency response times in the event of a fire in your building.
It’s called the Rescu app, and it’s like having the fire department on speed dial, only faster.
In just two taps on your mobile device, you can dispatch firefighters, police officers, or ambulance services to your address or current location — without saying a word.
This delay-free service is possible because when you set up your Rescu account, you can save up to four pre-registered addresses in the app. Once you’ve set your default address, all you have to do is tap the service you need, and then tap Send Alert.
Rescu Prime empowers you to take this service even further, providing fast emergency response to your location anywhere in the United States.
Since the app already knows your location, Rescu’s private dispatch center will immediately dispatch your requested services to you.
If you’d like to inform responders about your situation, you can do so — either over the phone or through Rescu’s two-way chat feature. But you don’t have to if you can’t or don’t want to.
If you’re a high-rise tenant, Rescu can save you precious seconds during a fire, which can save lives.
Click below to download the Rescu app today and receive 24/7 protection from fires and other emergencies.