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Individuals living in apartments, condominiums, and high-rises need to know how to get out quickly, and safely if a fire starts. Follow these fire safety tips if the fire alarm sounds in your building.
• Treat every fire alarm as an emergency. When the fire alarm sounds, remain calm and evacuate immediately.
• Feel your apartment door with the back of your hand before opening. If your door feels warm to the touch, do not attempt to open it. Call 9-1-1 and tell the dispatcher your apartment number and that you can’t open your door. Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding, or tape. Cover vents. Wait at a window and signal for help with a flashlight or by waving a white cloth.
• If your apartment door is cool to the touch, open it slowly. Stay low and check for smoke or fire in the hallway. If the hallway is safe, close the door behind you. Take the key to your apartment in case you are not able to get out of the building.
• Know the locations of all exit stairs from your floor. If the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke, you may have to use another exit. Never use an elevator to escape a fire. Always use the stairs.
• Once you exit the building, stay outside. Do not go back in for any reason.
Many apartment fires originate on attached patios or decks, and often those fires are caused by smoking materials and barbeque grills. The resulting fires often ignite the building’s siding, and from there fire can spread up the exterior of the building to the eves, and into the attic space.
• Smoking materials (cigarette butts, cigars, etc.) should be disposed of properly, in a non-combustible receptacle. Never dispose of butts in a plastic can, or into vegetation, potted plants, peat moss, or mulch. Putt you butts out, all the way, every time.
• Do not use a charcoal grill on a combustible patio or deck. Position grills at least 10 feet away from the building. Clean your grill regularly. Never leave a grill unattended. Always shut off propane fuel at the grill, and at the cylinder after you finish.
For more information on apartment, condominium, and high-rise safety, contact the Bismarck Fire Department at (701) 355-1400 or visit our website at https://www.bismarcknd.gov/1382/High-Rise-Apartments-and-Condominium-Saf