Condo Fire Inspections: What Residents Need to Know
Moving into a new condo is an exciting change. Between unpacking your belongings and decorating your new space, there’s a lot to think about. In the hustle and bustle, however, it’s easy to miss a few key details during your first week. One important step you don’t want to forget is becoming familiar with condo fire inspections and other safety measures.
Condo fire inspections are necessary precautions that reduce the likelihood of a fire situation. No resident wants to get caught off-guard by a fire in a condo building, and regular inspections help make sure this doesn’t happen.
There are several steps you can take to prevent an emergency situation from happening in the first place. While it’s great to hope for the best, it’s just as essential to educating yourself on what to do during a fire event, as well. Below, we cover some crucial points about fire safety in condominiums.
Important Things to Know About Condo Fire Inspections
1. The Condo Owner is Responsible for Condo Fire Inspections
Condo owners are responsible for ensuring buildings are up to code, including scheduling regular fire inspections. The owner is defined as “a corporation having control over any portion of a building or property under consideration and includes the persons in the building or property.”
Inspections cover important condo building fire safety points, including confirming there is a safe means of exit from the building, accessible fire extinguishers, and functioning sprinkler systems. Fire inspections also confirm that smoke alarms are checked before a new tenant moves into space.
2. Familiarize Yourself with Your Condo’s Layout
It’s never a good idea to assume an emergency won’t happen or that you’ll know what to do if one does occur. Preventive steps are essential to responding appropriately to fire in a condo building. One step all tenants should take is becoming familiar with the building’s layout.
Know where all of the exits are, including in common areas. Spending a few minutes during your first week in your new condo could make a huge difference in terms of safety during an emergency. An actual fire could make some exits unusable, so knowing where stairwells and fire escapes are located is critical.
3. Ask Your Condo Manager About Fire Safety in Condominiums
Use your condo manager as a resource for all of your fire safety questions. They’ll be able to explain in-person how the building holds up to Alberta fire codes and standards. You can also expect to receive notices from management about upcoming fire safety events, like meetings or workshops for condo residents.
Additionally, if anyone in your family has accessibility needs, you’ll want to make sure your condo manager is aware. For example, if you or a family member uses a wheelchair or requires special assistance, notify management.
4. Create a Condo Building Fire Safety Plan for Your Family
If you live with others, create a fire escape plan together with your family. Be sure to include strategies for safely evacuating your pets into this plan. Ensure children know what to do in the event of an emergency. While the idea of a fire can be scary to children, let them know that having a plan will help them stay safe even if you are separated.
Explain to children how you can check a doorknob’s temperature to make sure it’s safe to open the door. Designate a meeting point at a safe distance away from the condo. Assigning this meeting spot helps eliminate confusion during a fire, as it’s easier to make sure everyone is accounted for.
5. Take Steps to Keep Fires from Occurring in the First Place
Reviewing Alberta fire codes and standards is a great way to learn strategies for minimizing the risk of a fire. If you notice a problem that could lead to a fire (or be detrimental during an emergency), it’s important to report it right away. Have you noticed snow blocking an exit door? Is a fire alarm not working correctly? Let management know if something doesn’t seem quite right.
Other problems to look out for include frayed wiring on appliances or excessively cluttered areas which could present a fire hazard. If you have a dryer in your unit, be sure to empty the lint trap regularly to ensure a dangerous buildup doesn’t occur.
Are you currently a resident at a Catalyst Condo Management Ltd property? Do you have questions or concerns about fire safety in condos? Contact us directly. We’re happy to answer your questions!