An Independent Insurance Broker Covers You Best.

High Rise Apartment - Fire Safety

People who died in fires are ones who succumb to poisonous smoke and intense heat, not flames.

It is important to know how to get out quickly and safely. It could mean the difference between life and death. Practice an escape plan and know what to do in emergency.

If a fire happens in your apartment unit:

  • Remain calm and exit your unit.
  • Take your key with you and close the door behind you.
  • Activate the closest fire alarm which should be located by the exit stairs.
  • Leave the building via the EXIT stairwell. Never use the elevators during a fire.

If the building fire alarm sounds, follow these steps to exit the building:

  • Before opening your unit door, use the back of your hand and touch the top of the door and around the door handle. If it feels hot or warm, do not open the door. An indication of heat means there could be a fire behind the door.
  • If the door is cool to the touch, brace your foot and shoulder against the door and open it slightly.
  • If you see smoke, do not enter the hallway, you must stay in your unit.
  • Follow the procedures indicated below when your path is blocked by smoke.
  • If the hallway is clear of smoke, exit your unit and close the door behind you.
  • Never use the elevators during a fire. Go to the nearest exit stairwell.
  • Using the same procedures as mentioned above, check the door for heat before you open it slightly.
  • If you see smoke, do not go this way. You must use another exit. Close the door tightly and go to the second exit stairwell. Most building have an exit stairwell at both ends of the hall. Before you open the door, again check for heat and check the stairwell for smoke.
  • If the stairwell is clear of smoke, enter it, and close the door tightly behind you.
  • Go down the stairs and exit the building.

When your exit is blocked by smoke of fire, or you are physically unable to exit the building, you should:

  • Remain calm.
  • Keep your unit door closed, but unlock it.
  • Seal the door jam completely with duct tape and place a wet towel across the bottom. This will prevent smoke from seeping into your unit.
  • Call 911 and tell them your location. Advise them that there is an emergency situation in your building and you are unable to evacuate. The 911 operator will give you further instructions.

If smoke has already entered your unit, you should:

  • Remain calm and keep low, below the smoke.
  • Call 911 and tell them your location and that you are trapped by smoke.
  • If you have a balcony, stay low and go outside onto it. Close the balcony door behind you. You can remain on your balcony only if there is no fire below your unit.
  • If you don't have a balcony or can't get to it, go to a window and open it fully.
  • Hang a towel or blanket out the window so the fire department will know you are trapped.
  • Stay low and wait for rescue.

* The procedures were established by the Ontario Fire Marshal and provided courtesy of the Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services.