If you’re a property manager responsible for a condominium complex, you must ensure your building is prepared in the event of a fire. Condo fire protection and education is imperative to the safety of your residents. From the alarm systems to a set evacuation plan, your tenants’ safety is of the utmost importance.
Above all, your building should be equipped with a fire protection or suppression system to put out fires at the source. However, that system may not be enough. Here are three ways you can keep your residents safe beyond the installation of a fire protection system.
- Test your alarm system
Commercial fire alarms are a required component of condo fire protection. Your building must be equipped with a way to warn residents of a fire that meets all national and local fire safety codes. It’s imperative that you test your system to ensure it not only meets those standards but is still in good working order. Sometimes, alarm systems go years without use and you don’t realize they aren’t functioning properly until it’s too late.
If your fire alarm system is incredibly outdated, you may want to contact a fire protection company to install a newer, safer system that will effectively alert your residents of an emergency.
- Watch for potential fire hazards
Although you cannot control the actions of your residents, you may want to educate them on basic fire safety practices to eliminate potential fire hazards. When it comes to condo fire protection, you’ll be dealing with a lot of hazards involving appliances, cooking or other basic day to day activities that can cause a lot of damage if a fire occurs. Confined cooking fires alone are responsible for over half (55%) of facility fires.
Condos, like hotels or motels, involve a lot of living spaces in close proximity to one another. If a fire ignites in one apartment space, you run the risk of it spreading to the other tenants. Did you know that over $76 million in property loss occurs each year as a result of hotel, motel and condo fires each year? Don’t let your building become a part of the statistic: educate your tenants and stop fires before they start.
- Review and practice escape plans in the event of a fire
Your building should have a clear evacuation plan posted for all residents to see. If a fire occurs, this is the best way to keep your residents safe once your fire suppression system or sprinkler system has engaged. In a recent survey, only 35% of businesses had a predetermined escape route for fire evacuation. For the safety of your tenants and staff, a fire escape plan should be practiced regularly.
If your building uses elevators, you should have alternative methods of exiting the building. Make sure your residents know to use the stairs or fire escape systems to evacuate the building quickly and efficiently.
If you need any assistance with testing your fire alarm systems or even formulating an evacuation plan, you should call your local fire protection services for a professional evaluation.