Condo Fire Safety Tips for a Safe Holiday Season.

Condo Fire Safety TIP # 01:    Resident fire safety depends on the right decision in the event the fire alarm sounds in your building. Residents need to understand the systems installed in their building, uniquely designed to protect them, and that their decision to go or stay in their suite during a fire alarm is theirs.  It’s the building Owner’s (property manager) job to ensure these building systems are maintained as required, and the occupants are given the knowledge to make an informed decision to stay or go. Residents need to understand the building’s approved emergency procedures, and what gives them their best chances of surviving a fire emergency. This is vital as resident safety also depends on the actions of building management and other residents. As the calendar year ends and 2017 approaches, ensure you have communicated reminder to the residents of their roles and responsibilities during a fire emergency. This is typically done through information sessions delivered by a specialist, or by simply providing copies of the building’s fire safety plan procedures.

Condo Fire Safety TIP # 02: Both building Management and residents are to never hang holiday decorations from sprinkler heads / pipes, or in a manner that would impede their intended use.  Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive.  Use the proper lights for the environment. Indoor light strings/sets should not be used outdoors because they lack weatherproof connections. Some outdoor light strings/sets burn too hot for indoors. Inspect light strings/set before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty.

Condo Fire Safety TIP # 3: constant “return on investment”, providing for more than just “Security”. As an example of this – Does your onsite security / concierge program enhance your building’s emergency preparedness?  Make routine security checks a part of your building’s emergency management program.  Ensure your security officer conducting patrols within your building is tasked with identifying unusually cold rooms during routine patrols. Identifying these rooms in the fall, more than often allows property managers an opportunity to address frozen pipes, false alarms, temperature complaints, and HVAC concerns in advance of these issues becoming an emergency. An example of these rooms includes sprinkler rooms, electrical rooms, generator rooms, fuel storage rooms, and mechanical / electrical rooms and parking garages.

Condo Fire Safety TIP # 4: In addition to number three above, exterior building security patrols are an excellent opportunity to provide enhanced benefits to security / safety.  I would expect my security patrol program to actively identify concerns in advance, such as pooling water that may turn into ice at the side of a building, trip hazards in the walkway, and even “leaf” building up over top of storm drains in the parking lot. Identifying these areas of potential concern, coupled with swift action leads to the elimination of common emergencies in your building.  Your guard has a direct impact on your condo’s bottom line.

Condo Fire Safety TIP # 5: Real Trees, if permitted in your building…. are thirsty. They may drink up to four litres of water per day, so be sure to check daily and supply fresh water as needed. A stand that holds at least four litres of water is recommended.

If you allow the water level to drop below the bottom of the tree, a seal will form just as it does on a cut flower and a new cut will be necessary. Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, or heating duct. Artificial trees must have a fire-retardant label. Metal or aluminum trees are conductors of electricity. Don’t decorate them with strings of lights or with any electrical product. Never leave burning candles unattended. Snuff them out before leaving the room or going to sleep. Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing in the fireplace. They burn too rapidly and generate far too much heat.

If you haven’t already, inspect your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms for function – Change the batteries every six months whether they are needed or not!

Merry Christmas all !