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  • Pasadena Fire Department

Pasadena Fire Department

  • High Rise Fire Safety



    Several recent fires in high rise apartment buildings have awakened renewed interest in fire safety on the part of the public, and in particular, apartment dwellers themselves. For this reason, the Pasadena Fire Department has developed this guide for all high rise residents if a fire emergency should arise.

    Since high rise buildings are of fire resistive construction and possess reliable enclosed stairways, fires are generally confined to individual apartment furnishings or possibly the contents of one floor level.

    Thus, it is important first of all to understand that fire in a high rise building is no cause for panic. The Pasadena Fire Department responds to all high rise building alarms with a heavy complement of firefighters and equipment, experienced in rescue and fire control operations. Upon arrival, this force will promptly effect necessary rescues, confine and control the fire and ventilate the smoke from the building.

    Nevertheless, it must be realized that if a fire occurs within your apartment or on or close to your floor level, it will most likely be necessary for you to seek safe refuge as soon as possible. Therefore, it is extremely important that you, as an occupant, become well acquainted with the stairways provided in your building and procedures to follow in case of fire.

    Fire or smoke near your apartment

    • Immediately call the Fire Department.  Tell them the floor and apartment number as well as the street address and what you have seen.  Don't assume that anyone else has already called.
    • Before you try to leave your apartment, feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door feels warm to the touch within five seconds,do not attempt to open it.  This indicates the presence of a dangerous fire condition in the corridor.
    • If the door is not warm to the touch, carefully open it a small amount so as to check for the possible presence of smoke in the corridor.
    • If you feel the corridor can be used, alert occupants of the other apartments on your floor and proceed to the closest exit stairway. Be sure to close your door and the stairway door behind you.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THE ELEVATORS!
    • If your apartment door is warm to the or if there is heavy smoke in the corridor, keep the door closed. Seal the cracks around the door and any other place where smoke appears to be entering with a wet towel.
    • If smoke enters your apartment, and you have windows which can be operated, open one slightly. in apartments having windows which cannot be opened, merely remain close to the floor.

    However, the possibility exists that a fire in an adjacent apartment or below your apartment may spread to your apartment via the combustible nature of drapes, curtains, ect. If this condition occurs, close your windows and attempt to remove the combustibles at once.

    Know your Building


    Each occupant should be familiar with the location of all exit stairways on his/her floor. In addition, occupants should discuss in advance what they will do if the closest exit cannot be used during a fire emergency.

    Following the above suggested steps and doing pre-fire planning, you will greatly reduce your chance of being killed or injured in a fire in your building. Since no two fires are alike, plan carefully and learn your building layout well so that you can change your exit plan as conditions warrant.

    Upon written request from a tenant organization the Fire Prevention Bureau / Public Education Section will provide a speaker to discuss fire safety information.

    For further information contact:

    Pasadena Fire Department
    Public Education
    (626) 356-9644