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Why Residential Buildings Need Better Fire Safety Regulations

Why Residential Buildings Need Better Fire Safety Regulations

In New York City, commercial and residential buildings are governed by New York City Fire Code. However, commercial buildings have stricter and more comprehensive fire safety regulations and standards than residential buildings. Why is that? FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration statistics show that residential buildings have experienced more fires, more fire deaths, greater dollar loss, and more fire injuries than non-residential buildings.

In 2015, there were 380,900 residential building fires versus 104,600 in non-residential buildings. Things weren’t much better in 2014 when there were 3.67x more fires in residential buildings than in non-residential buildings, with 30.8% of the fires versus only 8.4%.

“Residential” was the leading property type for fire deaths, fire injuries, and fire dollar loss with 75% of the fire deaths, 78% of the fire injuries, and 52.1% of the fire dollar loss.

National estimates for the leading causes of fires in non-residential buildings for 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, are:

  1. Cooking: 30,900 fires
  2. Other unintentional, careless: 10,900 fire
  3. Intentional: 9,800 fires

National estimates for the leading causes of fires in residential buildings for 2015 are:

  1. Cooking: 193,400 fires
  2. Heating: 41,200 fires
  3. Electrical malfunction: 24,500 fires
  4. Other unintentional, careless: 24,500 fires

Even when comparing the instances of the top three causes of non-residential fires against residential instances, it is clear to see that residential buildings are at a much higher risk of fire than non-residential buildings.

With the greater risk that is involved and the higher degree of susceptibility to fires, residential buildings should have stricter, not more relaxed regulations than commercial buildings. There are more people, more children, more pets, more memories, and more lives that will be ruined if action isn’t taken to better protect New York City residential tenants. The City can start by requiring that all residential buildings:

  • Conduct annual fire drills and stairwell familiarization
  • Require fire prevention training for tenants and all personnel
  • Mandate annual systems checks, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in every residential unit

For more information on how you can prevent fires, protect tenants, and safeguard your residential property, contact us at: http://flssusa.com/contact-us

Source: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/

5 Things to Do in the Event of A Fire in Your Apartment Building

5 Things to Do in the Event of A Fire in Your Apartment Building

placeholder-imaeOctober 9, 2016 –

A fire can break out at any time. Knowing what to do in case there is a fire in your building can be the difference between life and death. Be sure you know what to do. Here are five things to keep in mind in the event of a fire in your apartment building.

  1. Check the door. If a fire alarm sounds, check to make sure the fire is not right outside your apartment by feeling the door with the back of your hand. If it is hot, the fire may be just outside your door. Do not open the door. Put damp towels and/or sheets around the door to keep smoke out. Alert the fire department that you are in the apartment.
  2. Take your keys. If you leave your apartment, take your keys, shut the door, but do not lock it. You may have to return if your planned escape route is blocked.
  3. Notify your neighbors. As you exit to the nearest stairwell, notify your neighbors by yelling, “Fire!” and knocking on their doors.
  4. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS! Unless otherwise instructed by the fire department, fire safety personnel, or security guards only.
  5. Stay out. Once outside, stay out! Go to your family’s pre-arranged meeting place to find other family members.

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Interested in fire safety training for yourself and your neighbors in your building? Contact us for more information. Contact Us

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5 Ways Apartment Dwellers Can Prepare For A Fire Emergency

5 Ways Apartment Dwellers Can Prepare For A Fire Emergency

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You never know when a fire emergency is going to happen, so the time to prepare is now. Here are five quick ways you can better prepare and inform yourself and your family on what to do in case there was a fire emergency in your building.

  1. Meet with your landlord or property manager to learn if your building is combustible or non-combustible and plan emergency measures that are appropriate to the building construction.
  2. Know the locations of egress (a way out) and exits. It is critical to know where your nearest exit is, as well as where the nearest backup is located in the event you cannot escape through the first.
  3. Regularly check that all stairwell doors and exits are accessible in the event of an emergency. If they are blocked, alert management right away.
  4. Make sure your apartment has a working smoke alarm. Check the batteries and that it is in working order every six months. Schedule a reminder in your calendar.
  5. Set a pre-arranged emergency meeting place with your family. The meeting place should be outside of your apartment building, away from the building.

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Interested in fire safety training for yourself and your neighbors in your building? Contact us for more information. Contact Us

 

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3 Things To Consider When Looking For An Apartment

3 Things To Consider When Looking For An Apartment

Apartment Building in NYC - Fire SafetyOctober 10, 2016 –

Finding the right apartment for you in the city is no easy task, but your safety must come first. Here are three things to consider for when looking for a new apartment.

  1. Ask the realtor if the building has a sprinkler system. If you have two similar choices, one with a sprinkler system, and one without, consider opting for the building that offers sprinkler protection.
  2. Check that the stairwells are clear and accessible. If they are not clear then, they most likely will not be clear when you move in.
  3. Check if there is a smoke alarm installed in the unit and a fire extinguisher. Note that if there isn’t a smoke alarm in your unit, there most likely isn’t one in your neighbors.

These three items are just the beginning. Stay tuned for more tips to prepare, prevent, and protect against fires in your residential building.

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Interested in fire safety training for yourself and your neighbors in your building? Contact us for more information. Contact Us

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Winter Fire Life Safety Checklist

Winter Fire Life Safety Checklist

Winter Fire Safety

Winter in New York City can be bitterly cold and treacherous. Be prepared this winter season by taking some simple precautions that will keep you and your loved ones safe!

Oh, stormy nights!

Winter storms are no joke. The power can go out and it can get very cold. With or without storms in your part of town, stay safe all winter long with this fire life safety checklist.

  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Have flashlights and radios ready and handy with fresh batteries. Charge your phones and have back-up chargers just in case.
  • Do not use candles. Battery-powered push lights are a great alternative to have available throughout the house instead of candles.
  • Have warm clothes ready, including extra heavy blankets, socks, and layers.
  • Remember your pets! Keep them away from drafts, heaters, and other heat sources. Bring them in from the cold, including balconies and garages.
  • Protect against window and door drafts with draft stoppers.
  • Monitor the weather to be aware of dangerous conditions heading your way.
  • DO NOT use the oven, kerosene lamps, or barbecues to keep warm.
  • DO NOT use generators indoors, even in your garage, with or without the door open. Always use generators outdoors.
  • If you live in a home, make sure your house number is clearly visible and your driveway is clear so that fire and emergency responders can get to you and your home quickly.
  • If you live in an apartment, consider your winter escape route and additional dangers they may pose such as a wet and slippery fire escape.
  • Turn off portable heaters when you leave the room and when you go to bed.
  • Have extra canned food in case conditions keep you indoors and check your go-kits, just in case!
  • Check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly, to see if they need any assistance this season!

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Christmas Tree Safety

Christmas Tree Safety

Christmas Tree Safety

Christmas trees are part of the festive season. They are fun to decorate and enjoy all season long. They can also be fire hazards. Follow these safety tips to keep your home and family safer this Christmas!

Oh, Christmas Tree oh, Christmas Tree…!

When picking a tree, be sure to select one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. If they are brownish or fall off at the touch, they are dry and are a fire hazard!

Setting up Your Tree

  • Cut 2” from the base of the trunk. This will help it soak up the water in the stand.
  • Make sure to place your tree at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Do not place candles near a tree or any of the presents. Use LED lights instead of flame candles if possible.
  • Make sure the tree, or the presents underneath, are not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the Tree

  • Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use. Be sure to check which ones you have and use appropriately and according to the instructions on the box.
  • Replace any string lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum number of lights strands you can connect.
  • Be sure to not overload the power strip when plugging in lights.
  • Always, always, turn off your Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

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Stay Safe This Winter Holiday Season

Stay Safe This Winter Holiday Season

Stay Safe This Winter Holiday Season

The Winter holiday season means lots of friends, families, food, and festivities and that’s why we love it! But it can also mean a greater risk of fire. Follow these safety tips to keep your family, friends, and home safer this holiday season!

Deck the Halls SAFELY! *

  • Holiday and tree decorations can be fire hazards. Make sure your decorations are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from your tree, decorations, gifts, or anything else that can burn. Better yet, replace all flame-burning candles with LED candles for peace of mind.
  • Most string lights are either for indoor use or outdoor use, but not both. Check the box and use appropriately to minimize fire risk.
  • Check your string lights every year and throw out any with worn or stripped cords or loose bulb connections. Also, be sure to not connect more light strands than allowed by each string. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the maximum number of light strands you can connect. Also be sure not to overload power strips.
  • Do not use nails to hang string lights. Use clips so that the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors, as well as all heat sources.

Enjoy the Festivities SAFELY!*

  • Be sure to test your smoke alarms before you have guests come over. Tell guests were the fire exits are and your emergency plan. You can make it fun and light, but be sure to share the information.
  • Let everyone know where you keep the fire extinguishers.
  • Keep kids and pets away from lit candles.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you have something on the stovetop. If you need to step away, ask someone to watch the pots for you.
  • Ask smokers to please smoke outside and to keep their smoking materials with them so kids do not have access to them.
  • If someone does light up inside, wet cigarettes with water before discarding.

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Keep Your Residents Safe This Halloween with These 7 Fire Safety Tips

Keep Your Residents Safe This Halloween with These 7 Fire Safety Tips

Did you know…Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 900 reported home fires each year? Two of every five of these fires were started by a candle. Stay safe this Halloween with these 7 fire safety tips.

Are you a Property Manager. Click on the flyer to Print or Download. Post or distribute to your tenants to protect your building and residents!

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Don’t Wait Check The Date

Don’t Wait Check The Date

October 19, 2016 – It’s time to check your smoke detectors to make sure they are in working order! Smoke detectors must be replaced every 10 years and tested once a month. Take time today to check the manufacturer’s date, as well as replace the batteries, and test the device. Download this easy infographic with more information and schedule next year’s test now.

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