Even though an apartment building and a private home have the same amount of risk of experiencing a fire, the apartment buildings’ proximity to each other makes fires much more dangerous. Fire, heat, and smoke can travel throughout the entire building, putting all occupants of the building at risk.
Owners of residential apartment buildings with three or more units are required by the New York City Fire Code to establish a fire safety plan that includes fundamental fire safety advice as well as information regarding the structure, such as the kind of construction, fire protection systems, and emergency exits.
Here are a few tips that can prevent fires in apartment buildings:
- Maintain at least one smoke and carbon monoxide detector in each unit
NYC law requires the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Make sure all fire escapes are clear and unobstructed
Each fire-escape must be accessible through one or more exterior doors or windows that open from the room, apartment, or suite, with a clear width of two feet or more and a clear height of two feet six inches or more. Any such window’s sill must be within three feet of the floor.
- Make sure your window security gates are approved by the FDNY
Some people put up security gates on their apartment windows to prevent an intruder from entering their home. Only New York City Fire Department certified security gates that open without a key may be installed on an outside fire escape window if your apartment building has one.
- Know your exits
Your apartment building must have two ways of egress (exits).
Your primary or first exit is the door to your apartment, which leads to either an unenclosed (not divided by walls and doors) stairwell or a public hallway with an enclosed stairwell leading to the street. Depending on the construction date of the building, your backup exit should be one of the following:
- An additional enclosed stairway accessible from the public hallway. (newer buildings)
- An enclosed fire tower (stairway accessible from the public hallway).
- An outside fire-escape accessible from within the apartment through a window or door.
Prevention and planning is the key to protecting your building’s occupants and neighbors.
Stay NYC Fire Code compliant with American Security’s turnkey fire systems. From design to completion, every phase of your project is handled by our factory-trained technicians with certifications ranging from NYS licensing to NICET.
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