The type of building you live in affects how you and your loved ones should plan for, and escape, a fire. Knowing if you live in a fire proof or non-fire proof building can ultimately save a life. Check with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) if you are unsure if your building is fire proof or non-fire proof. Remember, if you are in imminent danger from a fire or a fire is burning inside your apartment, get out immediately and call 911. Always listen to instructions from the Fire Department during emergencies.
Non-Fire Proof Buildings
If you live in a non-fire proof structure and there is a fire in your building it is usually safer to leave immediately. Generally, fires in non-fire proof structures are not easily contained to one portion of the building and can spread quickly.
Fire Proof Buildings
If you live in a fireproof building, it is usually safer to stay inside your apartment rather than entering dangerous, smoke-filled hallways. Generally, fires in fire proof buildings will be contained to the portion of the building where the fire started. Additionally, if the fire is below your apartment, you could risk being caught in rising heat and smoke in stairwells. If you and your loved ones are not in imminent danger from a fire or a fire isn’t burning inside your apartment, do the following:
- Keep your door closed.
- Seal doors or openings with duct tape, wet sheets or wet towels.
- Turn off air conditioners.
- It is ok to open your windows a few inches unless flames or smoke are coming from directly below.
- Do not break the windows as you may need to close them later.
- Call 911 and tell the dispatcher your apartment number and description of the conditions. Follow instructions from Dispatchers, they are trained to help.
- Remember to always listen to instructions from the Fire Department during a fire or emergency.
Once you have information about the type of building you live in, incorporate into escape plan.