BRAMPTON, ON - Tragic stories continue to emerge from London, England following last week’s devastating high-rise apartment building fire. Brampton Fire and Emergency Services wants to take this opportunity to remind residents about building standards in Ontario and apartment fire safety.
“The awful fire in London is a unique situation,” said Fire Chief Michael Clark. “While there is a certain level of unpredictability in every fire situation, Fire Code and building standards adhered to in Ontario make this an unlikely event here. Early reports indicate the cladding installed on the exterior wall caused the fire to spread rapidly between floors. This cladding is prohibited under the Ontario Building Code, and does not exist in Brampton.” Building Code
Apartment buildings in Ontario are required to be maintained to the requirements of the Fire Code where applicable. Most apartments are designed to prevent the spread of fire. Fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems and other fire prevention components, including safety plans, fire escape routes and fire doors are required and subject to inspection.
“In our experience, apartment fires in Brampton have been contained to the unit in which they started,” said Chief Clark. “Construction standards and materials and sprinkler systems help to prevent the fire from spreading, and sometimes the fires are out even before our crews arrive.” Fire safety
There are common and preventable ways most fires start, regardless of whether you live in an apartment or a house.
Cooking-related causes account for the majority of residential fires. Always stay in the kitchen while cooking.
A working smoke alarm is a critical link in the fire safety chain for you and your family. Ensure you have working smoke alarms by all sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace batteries every year. It is a landlord’s responsibility to provide working smoke alarms in a rental unit, but it is a tenant’s responsibility to notify the landlord as soon as the tenant becomes aware that the smoke alarm is disconnected, not operating, or is impaired.
If there’s a fire in your unit, get everyone out, close the doors behind you and exit the building. If there is a fire alarm system, pull the fire alarm and call 911, alerting others about the fire.
If the fire alarm in your building goes off, then you need to decide what to do. Every fire is different. You must act immediately upon hearing the fire alarm. If you decide to stay, be ready to go. If you discover the fire, if there is smoke, or if you are not sure, get out and stay out.
You must always protect yourself from smoke. Most fire deaths are a result of the smoke, not the fire. If you remain in your unit, seal cracks around your door with duct tape and towels. Don’t use the elevators, and if you encounter smoke in stairways, return to your unit or a neighbour’s unit. It starts with you
It’s never okay to assume that responsibility for fire safety is someone else’s concern. Fire safety always starts with you.
“Protect what matters most to you - your family,” said Chief Clark. “Test your smoke alarms and know your building’s fire safety procedures.”
If you have any questions, take the responsibility to talk you your landlord or superintendent.
Fore more information about fire safety, visit www.bramptonfire.com