Fire safety is paramount, whether in a skyscraper or a house. In the state of Florida, there are certain fire safety protocols that must be followed in order to keep residents and visitors safe. These protocols are in place to help prevent fires from starting and spreading, and to ensure that people are able to safely evacuate in the event of a fire.
Here are some tips for preventing fires and what to do if there is one:
Smoke Detectors & Sprinklers
Have them. It’s as simply as that.
For residential homes the NFPA recommends to have smoke alarms in every sleeping room and also on every level in the home. For Skyscrapers propere fire protections systems must be installed and maintained in accordance with the Florida Fire Prevention Code (FFPC) in addition high rise buildings need some automtic sprinkler systems in accordiance with 220.127.116.11 of the FFPC.
You can read more about the specific requirements for high rises here: https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2021/633.208
Have an Escape Plan
Practice an escape plan – this applies to both residential houses and skyscrapers in Florida.
The stairway is always the best way out of a burning building. You should know where all the stairwells are located in your building, including any secondary exits that might be hidden from view or not used regularly. Make sure you have clear instructions for reaching those areas of your building. In addition, understand the ground parking structure. Make sure everyone knows about a common meeting point and that the first ones out immediately contact the fire department to get the fire under control.
Practice Your Escape Plan
Make sure everyone in the building or house knows the escape plan in an emergency and practice it frequently.
Practice with all staff members, family members, friends, and even neighbors if possible. You should not use the elevator if there is a fire in your building. Always use the stairway to exit your home or office building. If you have to use an elevator, wait until after the fire is over before you get on it.
Know the layout of your building
Familiarize yourself with the exits and the location of the stairwells. If you work on a high floor, find out where the nearest fire escape is located.
As mentioned above stairwells are the best way to escape from a high-rise building in an emergency. To find them, look for signs or markings on the walls and ask other residents for directions. If there’s only one stairwell, it should be labeled “STA” with an arrow pointing up or down depending on which direction it leads; if there are two stairs, then there will be two sets of letters on opposite sides of each door. If only one set of letters appears on either side, the elevator is between floors.
Cover your mouth
If you’re in a building with a fire, make sure to cover your moth so don’t inhale smoke.
Smoke inhalation is one of the leading causes of death in fires. The toxic smoke contains harmful chemicals and toxins that can damage your lungs and airways. Inhaling smoke can cause respiratory problems, and in severe cases, it can be fatal or cause you to pass out. When you cover your mouth, you protect yourself from inhaling the smoke. A cloth, scarf or other piece of clothing that covers your nose and mouth can help filter out the smoke and make it easier to breathe and escape.
Do this if you have to go through smoke and debris, or if there is no other way of getting out. You should try to stay low to the ground where the air is cleaner. If you are caught in a smoke–filled room, you should drop to the ground and crawl to the nearest exit. Remember to use your hands constantly if you’re trying to escape a fire in an apartment building. The main reason for using hands is that most people lose their sense of direction very quickly. You are responsible for ensuring that your building is safe for you and everyone around you. Everyone needs to educate themselves on these topics to stay safe.
As you can see a reliable fire safety protocol is critical even in Tampa Florida. Take notes of our tips above and make sure everyone is on the same page on what to do if a fire breaks out.