This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
Last night as we settled in to go to sleep, the peace was shattered by the screech of fire alarms. At first, I wondered if I may have left something on the stove. Our fire alarm is quite sensitive and can be set off by cooking smells. But I had long cleaned up the kitchen and nothing was on the stove. Then we thought the heater, which was turned on for the first time, may have malfunctioned; we opened several windows and still it continued.
Mr. Apt Prepper got dressed and put some shoes on to go outside. I was right behind him and we saw the screeching alarms were not just our unit but coming from our entire building. Something was on fire. My heart started racing when I saw all the other residents filing out of their units. The fire doors at the end of the hall started shutting automatically. I thought for sure we would have to evacuate.
We immediately started calling out what we could carry out in a few minutes. For me, it would be:
- wallet that has ID, bank cards
- cell phone
- grab and go binder
- computer and portable storage
- go-bag we had packed before the hurricane
Then we spotted smoke coming out of the recreation hall. It appeared one of the residents had rented it for a party and they had burned something that caused a lot of smoke. They were scrambling to open all the doors and windows. After 10 minutes we heard the fire trucks arrive.
Whew! What a scare it was.
Fire is a constant threat
Though the first thing we think about when preparing are natural disasters such as hurricanes, fire is one of the most common threats. Living in a multi-family dwelling, it is also an ever present threat for apartment dwellers.
How to prepare
- Make sure you have renter’s insurance and have updated the information.
- Take pictures of your belongings in case you need it to file a claim.
- If you have to evacuate, identify what you will carry with you.
- If you have pets, make sure you have a pet carrier handy and go bag for them as well. Post signs that you have a pet in case something happens when you are out.
- Identify all possible exits out of your building.
- Have everyone’s shoes next to the exit to avoid going out barefoot.
- If you do not have a fire extinguisher, now is the time to get one.
- Always practice fire safety.
One of my fears is being in a fire. We felt fortunate nothing worse happened. The experience helped us identify any deficiencies in our plan: we had moved and had not taken recent pictures of our belongings; we have several years’ worth of documents and photos to be scanned, etc.
The only way to deal with fears is to prepare.
To all my readers, have a happy and safe Halloween!
© Apartment Prepper 2017