Apartment Safety

Who is at Risk?
Most fires happen in the home and at night. Families are at greatest risk, young children and the elderly. Arson is the 2nd leading cause of fires, motives, protecting yourself.

Why People Don't Survive Fires
Most homes have smoke detectors, over half of all fires and fire deaths occur in homes without working detectors. The primary reason for failure is dead missing, or disconnected batteries.
Common Fire Hazards
  • Candles
  • Cigarettes
  • Cooking
  • Electrical
  • Fireplace Ashes
  • Fireplaces and Wood Stoves
  • Heaters
  • Smoking materials
  • Spontaneous Combustion
    • Christmas Trees
    • Fireworks
    • Flammable Liquids
    • Halogen Lamps
    • Rags
Smoke Detectors - Individual Apartment Units
It is important to use detectors in units and not just in common areas. It is good to know why smoke detectors are important and what happens when you sleep. Having a detector is important for early warning. Placement, in hallways and bedrooms is key to early detection in house fires. Remember that landlords and tenants have different responsibilities.

Landlord Responsibilities
  • Working smoke detector required in every dwelling unit
  • Demonstrate to tenant that smoke detector is fully operational
  • Educate tenants on maintenance and tenant responsibility
Tenant Responsibility
It is the tenant's responsibility to maintain their smoke detectors by testing regularly, replacing battery, cleaning yearly and notifying management of any problems.
Skills for Surviving a Fire
  • Sleep with the door closed
  • Treat every alarm as an emergency
  • Know 2 ways out (doors, windows, escape ladders)
  • Be able to unlock and open doors and windows easily
  • Identify outside meeting locations(s)
  • Discovering a fire, initiate evacuation
  • Extinguish or contain the fire
  • Feel the door
  • Crawl low under smoke
  • Get out - stay out!
  • Report the fire - call 911
If You Can't Get Out
  • Barriers and space
  • Block heat, smoke, and gas
  • Stay low
  • Call 911
  • Signal for help
Strategies for Education Residents
  • New tenant orientation
  • Resident reports
  • Meetings / Forum
  • Face-to-face / Home inspections
  • Mailings / Handouts / Newsletters
Develop a Plan
  • Fire Emergency Guide (for tenants)
  • Emergency Plan (for staff)
Fire & Life Safety Team
  • Evacuation Manager
  • Floor / Building Monitors
  • Assistance Monitors
  • Maintenance / Facilities Personnel
  • Back ups
  • Residents can help
Instructions on Fire Safety Procedures (prevention)
  • Your building's fire alarm
  • Your building's sprinkler system
  • In case of a fire
  • Using a fire extinguisher
  • Protect in place
Introducing the Plan to Tenants
  • Current tenants
  • New residents and leases
  • Updates
  • Floor monitor help
  • Hallway education
Fire Evacuation Overview
  • Fire is discovered
  • Alert occupants - evacuate
  • Evacuation manager reports to outside meeting location
  • Floor / Building monitors help evacuate
  • Facilities investigates (if safe!)
  • Occupants report to outside meeting location
  • Monitors report to outside meeting location with evacuation status
  • Facilities reports any problems
Fire Emergency Guide (tenants)
Be sure to include a simple clear diagram showing:
  • Unit relative to floor or building
  • Two or more ways out - exit patterns
  • Fire extinguisher locations
  • Fire alarm pull stations
  • Smoke detectors
  • Outside meeting location
  • Address and unit number
Helpful Resources
Thanks to Renton Fire Department and King County Fire District 40 for developing this program. Redesigned for Bremerton by: Scott Rappleye, Bremerton Fire Department. If you are interested in more detailed information, please download the Apartment Safety Presentation (PDF).