Be Prepared

photo of fire extinguisher Locate all stairwells leading from your unit to the street level for possible evacuation. Find more information and current updates at Publication from the office of the Fire Marshall:

The buildings' fire protection systems

Monthly/Annual Tests. Monthly and annual fire inspections are performed in our building. Notices are posted to residents in advance and warnings are also given over the Public Address system immediately before the inspection/ testing starts. Fire Inspection in units. During the annual fire inspection it is necessary to access our individual units to check smoke detectors, heat sensors and valves. The Superintendent will accompany the fire inspector to the individual units. Sprinkler systems are found in all retail units, moving room, 2nd floor amenity rooms, garbage chute, and garbage room.

Know the alarm sounds

Our buildings are equipped with two stage fire alarm systems:

If you discover fire

  1. Leave the fire area
  2. Close all doors behind you
  3. Activate the Fire Alarm by using pull stations
  4. Use exit stairwells and leave the building immediately
  5. Telephone the City of Ottawa Fire Services from a safe place by dialling 911 (Never assume that this has been done). Know the correct address and location of the fire in the building.
  6. Do NOT use elevators
  7. Do NOT return until it is declared safe to do so by the Fire Department Official

If you hear the evacuation fire alarm tone

  1. Before opening the door, feel knob for heat. If not hot, brace yourself against door and open slightly. If you feel air pressure or hot draft, close the door quickly.
  2. If you find no fire or smoke in the corridor, close door behind you, take unit key and leave by nearest exit.
  3. Do not use elevators.
  4. If you encounter smoke in the corridor or stairwell, consider taking an alternative exit where it may be clear, or return to your unit.
  5. Listen for instructions or information which may be given by authorized personnel over the voice communication system.
  6. If instructions indicate or situation warrants that an evacuation is necessary, then take unit key, close door behind you and leave by the nearest exit. If you encounter smoke in the corridor or, stairwell, consider taking an alternate exit or return to your unit.

If you cannot leave your unit

  1. Close the door.
  2. Unlock door for possible entry of fire fighters.
  3. Dial 911 and tell the Ottawa Fire Service where you are, then signal to fire fighters by waving a sheet from a window.
  4. Seal all cracks where smoke may get in by using wet towels or sheets or masking tape.
  5. Crouch low to the floor if smoke comes into the room.
  6. If suite fills with smoke, move to balcony (close door behind you) - bring a phone if possible.
  7. If you have no balcony, move to the most protected room and partially open a window for air (close window if smoke comes in).
  8. Wait to be rescued. Remain calm. Do not jump.
  9. Listen for instructions or information which may be given by authorized personnel over voice communication system.

In-suite silence switch

The use of the in-suite silence switch is voluntary. If you plan to stay in your suite, review the STAY OR GO section. Protect yourself from smoke.
  1. To silence speakers, touch the silencing switch until signals are silenced (located near your electrical panel).
  2. When the in-suite silence switch is activated, it will silence the connected speaker(s) within your suite for approximately 10 minutes before resounding.
  3. If the building's fire alarm system is still active, the silenced speaker will re-sound when the timer (10 minutes) expires. The speaker may be re-silenced as described above.
  4. The speaker must sound for 10 seconds before it can be silenced.
  5. The fire alarm system signal will reactivate if there is a status change with the building's alarm system or a voice announcement is made.
  6. The in-suite silence switch does not silence the smoke alarm.

To Go? Or To Stay?
Your safety depends on the right decision!
Most of the time, the best thing to do in a fire is to leave the building as soon as possible. If you let this opportunity pass, you must be prepared to protect yourself from smoke and other effects of fire until you are rescued or told by the fire department that it is safe to leave.
When Should I go?
  1. As soon as possible when you hear the fire alarm or discover a fire.
  2. When the fire is in your suite.
  3. When the fire is on your floor or the floor below you.
When should I stay in the suite? (Inform the fire department)
  1. If you encounter smoke in the corridor on your floor.
  2. If you encounter smoke in the exit stairs.
  3. If instructed to remain in the suite by fire department personnel handling the fire emergency.
  4. If you are physically unable to use the stairs.

I have heard that most people die trying to evacuate during a fire. Is this true?

Experience shows that people who evacuate in the early stages of a fire can safely reach the outside. Most people die because they attempt to leave the building through smoke-filled corridors and stairs in the advanced stages of a fire. Although the conditions are different for each fire, this could occur as early as 10 minutes after the start of the fire. If you made the decision to stay in the suite during the fire emergency, do not change your mind and attempt to evacuate later. Please refer to item No. 1 for details of when evacuation is and is not appropriate. If you encounter smoke during evacuation, look for an alternate route that is clear of smoke, return to your suite or seek refuge with other occupants on the nearest floor. Do not use the elevator for evacuation (except under direction of the fire department) and never go to the roof since it is not designed as an exit.

What else should I know?

Many people are reluctant to evacuate unless they are certain that there is a real fire. This problem is made worse by nuisance alarms. Remember, a real fire grows for every minute that you delay and you may lose the only opportunity to evacuate safely. For this reason, all occupants who are able should begin evacuation procedures immediately upon hearing the alarm. If you made an initial decision to stay in your suite when a fire emergency occurs, do not attempt to evacuate in the advanced stages of the fire. You cannot outrun the effects of fire and smoke and will be placing yourself in extreme danger. Each suite is designed as a fire compartment and will afford you a degree of protection during the fire emergency. However, smoke spread into your suite is very likely so be prepared to protect yourself from smoke for the duration of the emergency. This may be a long time.