LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In 2019, local fire departments across the nation responded to an estimated 1.3 million fires. Those fires resulted in 3,700 civilian fire deaths;16,600 civilian fire injuries; and property damage estimated at $14.8 billion
Residential structure fires accounted for 28% of total fires and 20% of those were in one- and two-family homes, including manufactured homes. 6% of fires happened in apartment homes and the other 2% occurred in "other."
The largest residential fire in Las Vegas history killed 6 people and injured 13 in December 2019.
Here are some fire safety tips for people who live in apartments:
What to do before a fire
- Make sure your smoke alarms work and you have a fire extinguisher handy. If smoke alarms aren’t working, contact management.
- Know where all the exit doors and stairs are on your floor.
- Learn your building’s evacuation plan if there is one. Create and practice an escape plan.
- Use toddler and pet rescue stickers. The stickers will let firefighters know how many children/pets are in the home.
- If there is a lot of debris in the common areas or stairwells, let management know.
- Since many fires start in the kitchen, make sure stoves, ovens or range hoods are not coated with grease.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- If there is a common laundry room, let management know if you notice huge amounts of lint in dryer screens, lint around exhaust ducts or dryers that take much longer to dry than they should
- Keep grills off of wood porches.
- Make sure wood-burning fireplaces work correctly.
- Avoid using kerosene heaters or space heaters.
- Make sure circuit breakers are not taped in the ON position.
- Check fuse boxes for oversized fuses.
- Don’t use cords that are frayed or cracked.
- Don’t run cords under rugs between rooms.
- Never leave candles burning.
- Never leave lighters or matches where children can find them.
What to do during a fire
- Don’t prop open exit or stairway doors
- If you door feels warm to touch, do not open. Call 911 and tell them the door is warm.
- Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, bedding etc.
- Close all vents and ducts if you can not leave apartment.
- Wait at a window and signal for help using a light or waving a white cloth
- Open a window if necessary to let out smoke but do not break it.
- If your door is cool to touch, open it slowly and check for fire.
- If you do not see any fire, follow your building’s evacuation plan.
- Never use an elevator to escape a fire. Always use the stairs.
- Do not waste time by gathering personal items. Your life is more important.
- Shut your door when leaving apartment and take your keys.
- Do not jump unless there’s absolutely no choice. You may not survive the fall.