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High-Rise Apartment and Condominium Fire Safety





Learn what to do if a fire happens in your buidling. This is the best way to protect yourself and those aroung you.

  • Talk to your landlord, superintendent or building manager;
  • Know the emergency procedures outlined in the buildingès fire safety plan;
  • Every fire is different. You must act quickly when you hear the alarm or discover a fire;
  • Remember, most people die from smoke, not the fire. Here is what to do.


If there is a fire in your unit

  • Tell everyone in your unit to leave.
  • Close, but donèt lock, all doors behind you.
  • Pull the fire alarm on your floor and yell 'fire'.
  • Leave the building unit the nearest exit stairway.
  • Call the fire deoartment at 9-1-1 from a safe location. Never assume this has been done.
  • Meet the firefighters when they arrive and tell them where the fire is.


When you hear the Fire Alarm


To go or stay?

Most of the time, the best thing to do in a fire is leave the buidling as soon as possible. But in some cases you may not be able to leave and you may have to stay in your unit. In either case you must act quickly as seconds count. The longer you wiat, the more risk there is that heavy smoke will have spread into stairways and corridors and your chances of survival are less. No matter what your decision you must protect yourself from the smoke.


If you decide to leave the buidling


Check the door to your unit. If smoke is entering from around the door, do not open it. Feel the door and door knob. If the door or know are hot, do not open it. Protect yourself from smoke inside your unit as described below.

  • If there is no smoke or heat, brace yourself against the door and open it slowly. If you see smoke or feel heat, close the door quickly and protect yourself. If the corridor is clear, take your keys, close the door behind you and go to the nearest exit stairway.
  • Do Not Use The Elevator.
  • Open nearest exit stairway door carefully. If there is no smoke, use the stairway to leave the building.
  • If there is smoke, do not enter. Close the door. Go to another exit stairway. If there is smoke, do not enter, return to your unit and protect yourself from smoke.

When you are inside the stairway


If you encounter smoke on your way down the stairs, do not continue.

  • Leave the staiway to the closest available floor area and proceed to an alternate stairway. Open the door carefully and if there is no smoke, continue down the stairway and leave the building.
  • If you cannot use any stairway to exit the building, return to your unit if possible, or enter an available floor area and bang on units doors unit you are able to take shelter.
  • Never go to the roof, smoke rises! Doors to the toof are locked and you could become trapped.
  • Remember stay low to the ground if you are in a smoke filled environment. The air is cleaner near floor level.
  • Once out, stay out. Do not go back into the building utils the fire department tells you it's safe.

If you remain in your unit


You must protect yourself from smoke. Stay in your unit until you are rescued or until you are told to leave.

  • Keep smoke from entering your unit. Use duct tape to seal cracks around the door and place wet towels at the bottom. Seal vents or air ducts the same way.
  • If smoke enters your unit: Call 9-1-1 and tell them where you are and then move to the balcony. Close the doors behind you.
  • If you don't have a balcony, go to the most smoke-free room, close the door and seal it with tape and towels. If necessary, open the window for fresh air. Show emergency personnel where you are by hanging a sheet from the window or balcony.
  • Keep low to the floor where the air is cleaner.
  • Listen for instructions from authorities.



For more information about high-rise fire

safety and information in your language,

ask your building management

or contact Toronto Fire Service

by calling 311 or visiting





Natasha McColl for TorontoCondominiums.Com

Sutton Group Realty Systems Inc. Brokerage

Independently owned and operated

2186 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M6S 1N3

Office: 416-762-4200

Fax: 416-762-6829

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