Condominiums, wherever you live, should be equipped with the proper fire prevention systems. Condos built in the past decade are usually equipped with a sprinkler system, however, older buildings were not required to have them installed. Residents should always be aware of what type of fire prevention system or protocol the building they reside in uses.
For those who are trapped in their units, here are some tips to help you survive until emergency responders arrive:
Put wet towels and blankets underneath the door. Use an available phone to call the fire department and report your exact location.
If you can, open a window or lanai door slightly, it is generally safe to allow fresh air in, but be prepared to close it if smoke is drawn in.
If trapped you can signal your position to rescue personnel from a window using a light-colored cloth, but it is not advisable to break a window.
The building manager and residents should always make sure their fire extinguishers are inspected annually and tagged appropriately. Building managers should have two way communication readily available as well as a list of residents who will require assistance when evacuating the building. Last, building managers should do annual fire alarm tests so residents are aware of the procedures to exit the building as well familiarizing themselves with the fire exits.
By Kawena Bautista