Charles Street

Fire Prevention

Smoke Detectors

Each apartment is equipped with a smoke detector that emits a loud sound when it detects smoke. It is inspected annually. If it isn’t working, please call the Residence Office to have it repaired. Many of the smoke detectors have a test button that you can press to see if the power is connected. Please, do not tamper with the smoke detector under under any circumstances or its fuse or the fire alarm speakers: they are required by fire regulations and most fire insurance policies. If your smoke detector seems too sensitive to cooking odours, try cleaning the kitchen ventilator grill or closing the kitchen doors. Contact the Residence Office if the problem persists. 

If you happen to burn anything while cooking that generates a significant amount of smoke, please do not open the main entrance door of your unit to try and clear the smoke. This will set off the building wide fire alarm. Always open windows and the balcony door to quickly clear the unit. 

Automatic Door Closures

In compliance with mandatory Fire Safety Codes for high-rise buildings, automatic door closures have been installed on all individual unit entrance doors at 30 and 35 Charles St. West. If there is a fire in the unit and the resident leaves without closing the door, the door will automatically close, therefore containing the fire in a single unit and preventing the spread of fire to other parts of the building. 

Prevent Fires

The greatest cause of fires in apartment buildings is cooking fires. To prevent these, take precautions in the kitchen: 

  • Keep the stovetop and oven clean and free of grease 
  • Keep combustibles away from a heat source 
  • Turn pot handles inwards so that they can’t be tipped over 
  • Keep a close watch on food cooking on the stove or in the oven 
  • Never leave your apartment while the oven or stove is on. 

Make sure to turn off all electrical appliances when leaving the apartment or going to sleep. Check electrical cords and plugs for wear and do not run electrical cords under rugs. Also, do not store flammable liquids in your apartment or storage room. 

Other precautions include making sure garbage placed in the garbage chute does not include flammable liquids, matches or lit cigarettes. In the garbage room, do not clutter the floor with garbage, paper or bottles. 

The stairwell doors, including the ones in our underground parking, are fire doors meant to isolate fire are-as from sources of oxygen, so do not prop them open. 

In the Event of a Fire

If you detect a fire, pull the fire alarm at one of the two pull stations found on each floor and leave the fire area. 

In the event that a small fire in an apartment cannot be extinguished, be sure to close the door to the area to contain the fire. 

IF YOU HEAR A FIRE ALARM call 911 and report the alarm to the fire department – the alarm system is not connected to the fire department and you should not assume that someone else has called. 

Wait for an announcement from Security — this may take a few minutes because security may not be in the building of the alarm when it goes off – they will announce an advisory whether it is a false alarm, a test of the system, etc. They will notify you if you should evacuate, but otherwise your apartment is your safest place. 

Our buildings also get alarms from the businesses located on the ground floors, especially from the restaurant at 30 CSW. These alarms should be treated as if they occurred in the residential areas of the building. 

Fire in an Apartment Building

A fire in an apartment building should be treated differently than one in a single-family house: 

  • Do not use the elevators! 
  • The firefighters will always first evacuate apartments that are in danger. 
  • It may not be safe to leave your apartment if the hallways and stairwells are full of smoke. You may not be able to descend the stairs because they may be full of people. Remember, most deaths and injuries in fires are due to smoke inhalation, often in the stairwells. 
  • If the fire is not on your floor, it may be better to stay in your apartment to avoid getting trapped in a smoky stairwell. You can await the instructions of fire fighters there. 
  • If you decide to stay in your apartment because the hallways are full of smoke, put wet towels under the door to prevent smoke from entering the apartment. Crouch low to the floor if smoke enters the room. 
  • Unlock your apartment door for the possible entry of the fire fighters. 
  • Call 911 and inform the fire department of your location. 
  • Move to the balcony or most protected room and partially open the window for air (close the window if smoke comes in). 

Final Tips About Fire Safety

Familiarize yourself with the fire instructions on the back of the apartment door. 
Contact the Management Office if the instructions are not on the back of your door. 
Please also listen for announcements over the fire alarm speaker system during a fire alarm. 
People with physical disabilities (temporary or long-term) should inform Management of their apartment location so that the Residence staff on duty can inform fire fighters of their location in case evacuation is necessary. 

FALSE ALARMS: the Fire Department charges a large fine for all false alarms. Residents will be forwarded the bill for any false alarms that they, their children, or their guests set off.