Whether you’re a tenant of an apartment or an owner of a whole apartment building in the Bay Area, you know that fires are devastating. Even if the fire starts in a different apartment, the fire can easily spread to nearby apartment buildings in a matter of minutes, destroying properties and ending lives.
That means more than ever, you should have adequate fire protection in the form of fire alarm systems to start.
But of course, we shouldn’t just focus on fire protection. The best way to fight fires is to prevent one from starting in the first place.
And that’s what this article will be about. Not only will we be talking about what you can do for fire protection and safety, but also how to go about preventing any fires from starting.
Let’s get to it!
What are the top causes of fires in apartment units?
What usually is the reason for fires occurring in apartment units? According to The National Fire Incident Reporting System or the NFIRS, cooking is the top reason for apartment fires. That’s very understandable since people cook all the time. However, you can always make sure to do the following:
- Never leave your stove unattended – keep an eye on it at all times. If you have to step out of the kitchen, either have someone guard it for you or turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can easily catch fire, like towels, oven mitts, and even food packaging, away from your cooking area.
- Keep kids out of the kitchen, ESPECIALLY when you’re cooking. You never what antics of theirs may cause a fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure you know how to use it. Always make sure it’s filled.
- Keep cooking equipment as clean as possible. Crumbs, grease, and even dust in and around your appliances are all possible causes of fire.
- While in your kitchen, make sure to wear clothes that won’t accidentally come into contact with an open fire. In short, wear short sleeves or roll your sleeves up.
- Let hot oil cool down before disposing of it. It might come into contact with flammable objects.
- Only use the kitchen or cook if you’re not inebriated.
Appliances are another leading cause of fires in apartments. And it’s not just the kitchen appliances we’re talking about. It could be the ref, the washing machine, or even the dryer.
The reason for this is simply wear-and-tear from frequent use. So if you feel like your appliances have already served their purpose and need replacing, do it. You’ll be preventing sudden fires from breaking out this way.
And speaking of appliances, make sure also not to plug in too many things in one socket. That might overload that particular socket too much, causing, you guessed it, a fire.
Are there any other causes of fire you should be thinking of?
Remember, the Bay Area has what is called a “fire season.” Experts are predicting that this year is going to be the worst fire season ever. And since this is basically nature or an act of God, no fire inspection in the Bay Area can ever prevent it.
However, there are ways you can stay safe and survive, in case these natural fires ever occur in your area.
- Prepare for the need to evacuate. Make sure you know where all important documents are, as well as the basic needs of your family such as food, water, communication devices, and money. Also, you should tell your household members where to meet in case you all get separated during the evacuation.
- Map out an evacuation path. And we don’t just mean the evacuation area of the apartment building. Plan possible walking or driving routes just in case the streets of your apartment get blocked because of the incoming fire.
- Stay at home. If the fire doesn’t seem to call for you to leave your apartment, don’t. Hole up and stay there until firefighters control the blaze. And in the meantime, don’t go outdoors to preserve your health.
- Sign up for fire alerts. There doesn’t have to be a fire for you to want to be informed. Your county should have its own alert system. Just sign up online so you can receive either emails or texts regarding your location in case of any emergency situations.
How can you protect your apartment building from fires?
For this section, we’ll look at two categories. The first is if you’re a resident, and the second is if you’re the owner of the apartment building.
As a resident
You never know when a fire will occur inside your apartment or building. That means you should not rely on your building administration alone to protect you against fires. Be prepared always by having the following on hand:
- A fire extinguisher to extinguish fires that occur either in your residence or in your path while evacuating
- A fire blanket to either extinguish fires or protect yourself from getting burned
And if you can afford to, have a fire alarm system installed in your own home, even if it’s just a smoke detector or heat detector with a sprinkler system. That way, in case the fire does start in your apartment, it can be eliminated before it spreads.
It would also help to memorize the locations of fire extinguishers and any fire alarm triggers in the hallways. You never know, you might end up being the first one to inform everybody of the incident and to alert the authorities.
As the owner of the apartment building
As the owner of the apartment building, you should be responsible. After all, there are plenty of lives on the line in case of a fire. That’s why you should make sure to install the best fire alarm system possible.
A good standard system includes the following:
- Smoke detectors. These will help detect an unusual amount of smoke coming from anywhere in the building. Make sure to get top-of-the-line ones so that they’re not easily tripped by someone just merely cooking.
- Fire alarms. Smoke detectors are usually hooked up to fire alarms. After all, even if there are smoke detectors, it’s useless if no one knows about any smoke. Alarms make really loud noises so that residents of the building will know about the smoke buildup.
- Manual fire alarm boxes. Sometimes, alarms can fail. The smoke detectors won’t work, so the alarms also won’t. That’s why there are manual fire alarm boxes. In case a resident sees any signs of fire, even if the system cannot trigger the alarm, the resident can just activate the alarm using the boxes.
Get some Bay Area fire inspection experts to fully secure your apartment building.
We hope these tips help you keep safe against fire. Of course, the best way to really protect an apartment building is to get the expert recommendations of a California fire inspection company, like us at Fire Alarm Testing Inc.
Count on our years of experience and our top-notch fire protection services to help keep your apartment building safer from fires.
Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.