Community

High rise safety

MFB firefighters have attended more than 1300 fires in high rise apartments over the past ten years.

Flicked cigarette butts, unattended cooking and poor maintenance of appliances are some of the most common causes, sparking a damage bill of more than $11 million over a decade.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in Victoria, almost half a million people live in apartments. That number is expected to grow.

High rise buildings pose unique challenges for both firefighters and residents due to a number of issues faced which are not experienced in traditional housing.

These include:

·         Close proximity of living spaces

·         Lengthier evacuation times

If you live in a high rise building, it’s important to know what to do in the event of a fire.

Here are some simple safety tips you can take to help keep you and your family safe:

KNOW what your plan is

Have a home fire escape plan and practice it regularly

KNOW where your exits are

Make a note of the nearest emergency exits in your building and practice using them.

KNOW how to reduce your risks

·         Have a working smoke alarm on every level of the house, including inside every bedroom where someone sleeps with the door closed.

·         TEST your smoke alarm monthly, DUST it annually, REPLACE your smoke alarm battery annually and REPLACE your smoke alarm every ten years

·         De-clutter balconies and remove sources of heat such as barbeques. Keep air conditioning units clear of any flammable items.

·         Dispose of cigarettes appropriately in heavy, high-sided ashtrays. NEVER flick cigarettes outside or throw them into the garbage chute.

·         Never leave cooking unattended

·         Ensure your fire exits are clear at all times and notify your building manager of any issues in shared areas

·         For more home fire safety tips, visit http://www.mfb.vic.gov.au/Community/Home-Safety.html 

 

You can download MFB's High Rise Building Fire Safety Flyer here: High Rise Flyer Final

 

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Safety Tip

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

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