According to the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, more than 20,000 of San Francisco’s apartment buildings are more than 50 years old. Because of their age, many of these buildings can potentially be lacking in fire safety and protection systems. While efforts to modernize dated technology have been made in some cases, it is still wise to be aware of your specific situation and take steps to prevent or respond appropriately should your building fall victim to fire.

Unique Fire Safety Issues in Old Buildings

Old buildings present some unique challenges when it comes to fire safety. Here are a few issues that are important to consider:

Electrical Circuits

When was the last time the electrical circuits were tested and maintained? It may be time to call in an inspection team. 

Lighting and Lamps

If the building is very old and if an effort has been made to preserve old lighting, it is possible that halogen lamps are still in use. It is important to make sure that these fixtures are properly maintained and that any and all drapes, curtains, or other flammable materials are kept a safe distance from them.

Ventilation Systems

Old buildings may not have optimal ventilation systems which can cause several different problems related to the spread of flames or the venting of harmful smoke and gases.

These are just a few examples of some of the challenges that old buildings can face when it comes to fire safety. So what can you do to help limit the risk of fire in your building?

Fire Safety Tips

Smoke Alarms

This may seem obvious, but fire alarms are a crucial part of fire prevention. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or with non-functioning alarms. Make sure to install smoke alarms in your home or apartment, and change the batteries as necessary.

Use Wall Outlets

Major appliances like refrigerators or washers and dryers should be plugged directly into wall outlets. Using power strips or surge protectors for large appliances can cause overheating and can lead to an increased risk of fire.

Space Heaters

If you need to use a space heater, exercise extreme caution. Keep it at least three feet from other objects, and never leave it running when no one is home.

Preparedness and awareness are half the battle when it comes to fire safety. A-Total Fire Protection knows that better than anyone, and we are equipped to handle the inspection of your fire protection system. Don’t wait, contact us today to learn more about our fire inspection services.