Once you are sure your personal space is fire-safe, there are many things you must do to prepare for a fire.
Plan your escape routes
You’ve done everything to make sure your suite is fire-safe. But if a fire does happen, it’s important to have at least two escape routes planned in case one is blocked by fire or smoke. If you have children, it is especially important to explain the plan and practice how they should respond in an emergency.
- Learn where all stairwells and exits are located.
- Plan at least two escape routes from your suite.
- Make sure you know an escape route from the common areas as well as from your suite.
- Memorize the number of doors between your suite and the nearest fire exit in case you have to find the exit in the dark.
- Discuss which Muster Point you will meet at in case you get separated in an emergency.
Know your muster points
‘Muster Point’ is the term commonly used to refer to the area where residents gather after leaving the building during a fire or other emergency. Small buildings have one Muster Point, but since our building is so large, with more than 100 residents, we have three Muster Points. All involve crossing the street to the far side. Our Muster Points are:
- The east side of Arlington
- The west side of Evanson
- The north side of Preston
When you leave the building, take your cellphone with you. Go go to the nearest Muster Point. You have planned your exit from your suite and discussed it with your family. But if you are somewhere else in the building when the fire alarm goes off, be aware of the shortest route to safety. Do a tour of the co-op and think about what exit and what Muster Point you would choose from all our common areas. Be mindful of the arrival of emergency vehicles as you cross the street.
Plan for your pet
Your pet is part of the family too! What will happen to your pet if you are not home when there is an emergency? Please make arrangements with someone in a nearby suite to check that you have taken your pet out of the building with you. You may want to consider giving a trusted neighbour a key for this purpose. If your pet is home alone when a fire breaks out, your neighbour could unlock your door and take your pet to safety. Firefighters will only rescue pets after they are satisfied that all humans have left the building. The best thing you can do for your pet’s safety is to make sure you have a plan in place. The fire alarms are very loud, and the strobe lights can be frightening too. Introduce your pet and your helper to each other. Discuss the pet’s personality: Is it likely to hide? Where? Will it leave the building willingly with the helper? Where do you keep the pet’s gear (collars, leashes, cat carrier, budgie cage, etc.?) What do you need to think about if the alarm goes off at night? If it’s cold or wet? Remember, whether it’s you or your pet helper that takes your pet from your suite – leave the door closed tightly behind you, and leave it unlocked.
Tell us if you will be away
Our co-op Occupancy Rules state that residents who plan to be away from the co-op for more than seven days must advise the Property Manager and provide emergency contact information. This can be done by completing a Vacation Notice Form, located in the Member Only section of the website. And if you have a Buddy and Pet Helper, let them know, too.
About Co-op fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are located in the hallways of each floor and in most common areas. Floorplans showing the location of fire extinguishers are located by the elevators and in the hallways. Only people trained in the use of co-op fire extinguishers should attempt to use them. If there is a fire in your suite, leave the suite quickly. Do not attempt to use the hallway extinguishers.