Apartment managers learn how to guard against fire

Thursday, Aug 7, 2014 5:00 PM
Last updated Friday, Aug 8, 2014 3:15 PM
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 Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly provided the title of Jaime Morgan of the Apartment Association of Greater Augusta.

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Lt. Carlton Bradley, of the Augusta Richmond County Fire Department, talks to apartment managers and maintenance staff about basic fire safety and preventative maintenance tips at the DoubleTree Hotel in Augusta.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Lt. Carlton Bradley, of the Augusta Richmond County Fire Department, talks to apartment managers and maintenance staff about basic fire safety and preventative maintenance tips at the DoubleTree Hotel in Augusta.


There was one main message that Lt. Carlton Bradley wanted to depart to the 20 representatives from local apartment complexes at a class on fire safety Thursday. “The biggest thing I want y’all to take away from this is to be safe and make your tenants safe,” said the Augusta Fire Department official, who led the two-hour class.

Some of the topics were obvious, but making sure items such as emergency exit signs, fire extinguishers and smoke alarms are up to code can be more complicated. Different buildings can come with different requirements.

This is the second year the Apartment Association of Greater Augusta has teamed up with the fire department for the training course. Apartment managers and maintenance technicians were invited to attend.

Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 97 fires in multifamily dwellings in Richmond County, according to Bradley. He said the number is alarming not only because of the many families who can be affected, but also because of how fast
fires between interconnected homes can spread.

On average, a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds. Considering upgrades to existing fire safety technology, Bradley asked the crowd to imagine their family members living in the homes.

“Preventative maintenance on apartment communities is a lot cheaper than having to redo after a fire,” said Jaime Morgan, the associate executive of the apartment association.

Bradley also discussed basic fire-prevention safety and warned those at the meeting that such things as dryer lint, cooking or grease fires, and patio grills are common sources of flames. Most of the participants were familiar with those dangers but were not as familiar with household items that can cause flames.

One of the participants was asked to read the warning label on a can of roach spray. She and everyone else was surprised to learn the manufacturer suggested turning off all possible ignition sources, including refrigerators and thermostats, before using the product.

Bradley said he has seen a household bug killer lead to a fire before.

He added WD-40 and plug-in air fresheners to the danger list.

“Most people never read the warning label,” he said. He urged participants to spread the safety message to their tenants.

Morgan said she hopes to see the program return every year.

“I think it’s very beneficial, and I pick up some tips too,” she said.

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corgimom
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corgimom 08/07/14 - 05:03 pm
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And don't forget cigarettes,

And don't forget cigarettes, space heaters, and children playing with matches.

It's a wonder that all of them don't burn to the ground.

nocnoc
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nocnoc 08/08/14 - 08:45 am
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Apartment buildings in general

1ST QUIT BUILDING MULTI-STORY UNITS

QUOTING
"He said the number is alarming not only because of the many
families who can be affected, but also because of how fast fires
between interconnected homes can spread."

SO Why doesn't ARC pass a local UPDATE to the GA BUILDING CODE for multi-story apartments?

Start requiring all new NEW construction include 2 hour Firewalls between apartments, sprinkler systems both top to bottom and that the concrete firewall extend above the roof line like some other states already do.

Seriously Sheetrock is NOT a firewall.

nocnoc
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nocnoc 08/08/14 - 08:42 am
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Sweet son
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Sweet son 08/08/14 - 09:44 am
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It's amazing how each apartment dweller puts their life in the

hands of their neighbors everyday and doesn't even think about it. When I was younger I lived in an old house converted to apartments and never thought about the dangers. I look at the Atlanta TV stations' websites and apartment fires are in the headlines far too often..

corgi and noc noc both make good points.

corgimom
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corgimom 08/08/14 - 06:49 pm
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Nocnoc, who passes the

Nocnoc, who passes the updated codes?

County commissioners.

Who contributes heavily to the commissioners' campaign races?

The developers and owners of the property that the units are built on.

And there you go.

And if they did that, the conversion of the mills, old buildings on Broad St, etc would come to a screeching halt.

Follow the money.

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