On 9 November evening Neo Soho, a newly built apartment, caught fire. The Jakarta Police reported the incident through @TMCPoldaMetro Twitter account around 9pm. luckily, the building, which is still under construction, is uninhabited. However one construction worker was reportedly injured during the fire.
Although there were no victims in this accident, it is always a sad story that leads us to think about fire safety. While apartments have the same risk of fire as a single-family home, close proximity to other units makes apartment fires more dangerous. Flames, heat and smoke can spread throughout the building in a matter of minutes. As a result, fires can not only cause extensive damage, but also threaten the safety of all occupants.
Nobody wants this kind of disaster happens, and you can always prevent it. If you’re living in apartment or planning to do so, here are safety tips that can prevent fires in apartment buildings:
- Carefully guard flammable materials, especially candles and cigarettes. Also, watch for electrical hazards such as fraying chords and overloaded power strips. Make sure that the apartment has sufficient and working smoke alarms. There should be one in each bedroom as well as in your common area.
- Before you leave your apartment, make sure that you do not leave food unattended on a stove. Also, try to not smoking in your apartment or leave the burning cigarettes unattended. Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- If you have aromatherapy candle, make sure that you place it in somewhere safe and not near any clothes or curtains. Always turn off the candle when you’re not around the apartment.
- If a fire occurs, having an escape plan will help you keep a clear head and avoid panic. Map out an evacuation route and even if it seems unnecessary, you and your family can practice the escape. It is also a good idea to set a meeting place for your family to gather once out of the building.
- Know exactly where the hose reels and portable fire extinguishers for residents are placed in your apartment. Familiarize yourself also with the exit points that are in your building and where they lead to.
- Never use the elevator to leave the building. Always find the staircase and emergency exit.
- Remember that smoke rises, so if you encounter a smoky area, drop to the floor and crawl under it if you can. Close every door behind you to prevent the fire from spreading further.
- If you find yourself in a fire, don’t panic. Try to think straight and find way to escape. Before you leave the apartment or room, feel the door—if it’s hot, don’t open it. It is a sign that the room behind the door is on fire, and if you open the door you will let the oxygen to enter and make the fire even bigger.
- Add the fire department call number in your fast dial list. In Jakarta the fire department number is 113.