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  Fire Safety  
     
 

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Ways to Keep Your Apartment Safe

  • Never keep rubbish in the hallway. Make sure it is stored properly and collected regularly.
  • Don't put items in the trash chute that are too big and may get stuck. Things caught in the chute easily can turn a fire in the basement into a fire on your floor.
  • Be careful not to overload electrical circuits. Short circuits are the cause of many fires.
  • Cook with care. Keep baking soda handy to smother stove fires.
  • Never smoke in bed and make sure that there are no smoldering butts when you empty ashtrays.
  • Test smoke detectors weekly and replace batteries twice a year (the beginning & end of Daylight Savings time).
  • Make sure that your apartment door is tight fitting and complies with the fire code.
  • Inspect your exit stair doors. They must be self-closing, snap shut and unlock from both sides. If they don't meet this standard, report it to the superintendent or the Fire Department.

If The Fire is in Your Apartment

  • Get everyone out. Stay low as you go out. Close but don't lock all doors in the apartment as you leave.
  • Alert others on the floor by knocking on doors. Activate the fire alarm if there is one.
  • Go down the nearest STAIRWAY, holding the railing.
  • Call the Fire Department from a floor BELOW THE FIRE or from a street fire alarm box outside.

If the Fire is NOT in Your Apartment

  • Stay inside rather than entering smoke-filled hallways, especially if the fire is above your apartment.
  • Keep your door closed.
  • Seal the door with duct tape or wet sheets and towels. Seal ventilators and any other openings where smoke may enter.
  • Turn off air conditioners.
  • Fill your bathtub with water. If the front door gets hot, wet it down.
  • Unless flames or smoke are coming from below, open your windows a few inches at the top or bottom. Don't break the windows; they may need to be closed later.
  • Call the Fire Department with your apartment number and a description of the conditions in your apartment. Firefighters will be directed to your location.
  • If you feel you are in grave danger, open a window and wave a bed sheet for firefighters to spot you.

Planning Ahead Can Save Your Life

Things to know:

  • The layout of your floor.
  • The location of stair exits.
  • The number of doors between your apartment and the exit stairs. This is essential knowledge to find the exit in the dark.
  • Where your apartment key is located. Take the key with you if you are forced to evacuate.
  • The location of fire alarm boxes (if your building has them.)

Things to Do

  • Keep flashlights ready and in a handy place.
  • Install and maintain smoke detectors. Owners of high-rise buildings are required by law to install one detector in each apartment, but its maintenance is up to you.
  • Report fire hazards to your superintendent. Blocked exits, piled-up trash, missing exit lights and open fire doors are violations of law. If your superintendent doesn't correct them call the Fire Department (718) 999-2541, and report the condition. Your life may depend on getting the violations corrected.

 

 
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