NFPA Public Education Division • 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169
Your Source for SAFETY Information
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Apartment BuildingsApartment Buildings
Fire Alarms inFire Alarms in
Large apartment buildings are built to keep people safe from ﬁre. Fire alarm
systems detect smoke and ﬁre. They will warn residents of danger.
KKK The ﬁre alarm system has many parts that work
together. Some of the parts are out of sight. In a
ﬁre, smoke detectors sense smoke and activate the
ﬁre alarm. Manual ﬁre alarm boxes allow people
to sound the alarm. When the ﬁre alarm system
activates it will warn residents of danger.
KKK Everyone in the building should know where to ﬁnd
the manual ﬁre alarm boxes (alarm boxes on the
wall with a pull bar). Most are found within ﬁve feet
of an exit door.
KKK If there is a ﬁre, pull the manual ﬁre alarm box
handle on your way out of the building.
KKK When the system senses smoke or ﬁre, a loud horn
or tone will sound. Everyone must know what this
sound means and how to react.
KKK Leave the building right away if you hear the sound
of a ﬁre alarm. Stay outside at your meeting place
until you are told the building is safe.
KKK Treat every ﬁre alarm as an emergency. When the
alarms sounds, get outside.
KKK Only use a manual ﬁre alarm box if there is smoke
or ﬁre. Frequent false alarms are a problem. People
might ignore the sound if they hear too many false
alarms. False alarms also put ﬁreﬁghters at risk.
Know the locations
of all exit stairs from
your ﬂoor. If the
nearest one is blocked
by ﬁre or smoke, you
may have to use another exit.
If the ﬁre alarm sounds feel the
door before opening. If it is hot, use
another way out. If it is cool, use this
exit to leave.
Close all doors behind you as you
leave. Take the key to your apartment
in case you are not able to get out of
If ﬁre or smoke is blocking all exits,
return or stay in your apartment.
Keep the door closed. Cover cracks
around the door with towels or tape.
Call 9-1-1 and let the ﬁre department
know you are trapped. Signal from
the window by waving a ﬂashlight or
Meet with your landlord or building
manager to learn about the fire safety
features and plans in your building.
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