Fire Safety Essentials For Multi-Storey Residential Buildings

Fire Safety Essentials For Multi-Storey Residential Buildings

Fire Safety Essentials For Multi-Storey Residential Buildings – Everyone needs a place to live. It’s a fundamental human right – the right to shelter. And home is more than just a roof over our heads. It’s a place to decorate, to make your own. Somewhere to raise kids, laugh and love—a place to rest and recharge each weekend and evening. You share food, drink and good times under your roof. 

For many people, their home is in an apartment or multi-storey residential building. This type of housing is often cheaper than a standalone house, townhouse, or unit. So, many people buy apartments because they’re affordable.

And your home should be safe – this goes without saying. Multi-storey buildings can be a massive fire risk, as they’re big and host many people. A fire could be catastrophic. That’s why fire safety is paramount. This article will share some fire safety essentials for apartments and other multi-storey residential buildings. Read on to discover more. 


Fire Safety Essentials For Multi-Storey Residential Buildings

Well Signed Emergency Exits

It’s essential to have clearly signed and visible emergency exits in a large residential buildings. If your building doesn’t have these, you should contact the management to arrange emergency exit lighting services. Your owner’s corporation manager or building manager should easily be able to arrange this.

Having emergency exit signage means that you can quickly find the exit and leave the building safely in the unlikely event of a fire or other emergency. It’s essential to have correct signage in these buildings, so act quickly if yours doesn’t have this. 


Smoke Alarms

Every residential building in Australia is required to have functional smoke alarms by law. Unless the building is ancient, these should be hard-wired with a nine-volt battery backup. These will emit an alarm if they detect smoke, alerting the building residents to smoke and potentially fire. 

If your apartment doesn’t have a smoke alarm in each bedroom, you must rectify this. Contact your building manager, who can arrange for a qualified and licensed electrician to install them. In addition to this, hard-wired smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years, so if you’re unsure when they were last replaced, play it safe and have them replaced anyway. 


Have an Escape Plan

It pays to be prepared. You should make an escape plan in the case of a fire. For instance, you might store all your important personal documents, such as passports, wills, property titles and other paperwork, in a box that you can quickly grab if you need to get out in a hurry. Your building should have an emergency evacuation point which you should familiarise yourself with, so you know where to go in the case of a fire. 


Reduce Fire Hazards

It’s essential to do your bit to reduce fire hazards. For instance, storing old newspapers in a pile is a significant fire hazard, so ensure you recycle your papers regularly. If you see an exposed electrical wire which is also a significant fire hazard, report it to the building’s management so they can have an electrician come and rectify the issue. 

As a high-rise resident, you must do your part to help reduce fire risk.


Report Fire Safety Equipment Issues

Most multi-storey residential buildings should have a wide range of fire prevention and protection measures, such as smoke alarms (mentioned above), fire-rated walls or emergency exit signage (already mentioned too).

If you notice any of this equipment is damaged or not functioning correctly, report it. For instance, if the fire escape sign is flickering or is not lit. If any signage is damaged or if fire escape doors aren’t self-closing or latching correctly, then do your part and report it to the building management or owner’s corporation. 


Combustible Cladding

We all remember the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London a few years back. Combustible cladding is a significant fire hazard that is present on the exterior facade of some apartment buildings. If your building has this, it needs to be rectified by the builder or authorities to minimise the risk to the building and its inhabitants. 


Don’t Smoke Inside

Lit cigarettes, cigars or other smoking paraphernalia, such as pipes or bongs, can quickly start accidental fires. If you are a smoker of legal tobacco or other illegal substances, you should smoke outside on the street. Local laws often prohibit smoking on balconies, so outside is the best place to spark up. This is a critical fire prevention tip that apartment dwellers can practice.


A Fire Safety Summary

This helpful article has shared some fire safety essentials for multi-storey residential buildings. These tips are worth following and checking out if you live in an apartment building. While most recently built buildings should be safe, it’s worth knowing these details. Remember, if you notice something, you should report it to the building management or owner’s corporation immediately. Do your bit, and help keep everyone safe.