Fire: What apartment residents need to know
MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Residents who live in apartment complexes can do everything right to prevent a fire, but you never know what's going on several apartments away. That's why firefighters say you must always be prepared.
The first thing you should do is check your smoke detector and make sure it is working. It could one day save your life.
A fire can go from a small spark to a blazing inferno in just seconds.
"Fire doubles in size every 30 seconds so the longer somebody waits to call 911 the fire could really get going," said Captain Brian Linson of the Mishawaka Fire Department.
At apartment complexes, units are small and walls are thin, so fire blows through quickly.
If you need to get out, firefighters say drop down as low as you can to the ground and make your way to the door.
"We advise people never to run if they don’t have to," said Linson. "When you’re leaving your building knock on everybody’s door and say hey there’s a fire you need to get out."
Firefighters say if you live in an apartment you always need to have two ways out, even if it means jumping from your balcony.
"We don’t recommend that you jump anywhere past the second floor," said Linson. "Get out on your ledge and yell and scream maybe wave a pillow case. And then once you get out once you’re out, stay out."
Officials say apartment complexes do not legally have to have fire drills, so its up to you to run drills and practice exiting with your family.