Multi-Family Inspections

Armstrong & Goforth

Our homes are supposed to be the place where we feel the safest, but most people do not realize that four of every five fire deaths (80%) and almost three-quarters (74%) of all reported fire injuries are caused by home structure fires.

Due to the close proximity and dense nature of a multi-family building, tenants of these residences are at an increased risk of the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 100,000 apartment fires occur each year across the U.S., killing over 400 people, causing more than 4,000 injuries, and costing $1.2 billion in property damage annually.

To combat these alarming national statistics, the Everett Fire Department has implemented the Multi-Family Inspection Program with the goal of identifying and removing potential fire safety hazards in multi-family buildings in order to ensure the safety of all residents. Everett Fire Department personnel will inspect all multi-family buildings within the City of Everett on an annual basis.

Any safety concerns found in a private unit should be shared with the manager or owner of the building so it can be addressed in a timely manner.

Lives and property can be saved by being prepared before fire strikes.

Common Home Fire Hazards

  1. Cooking
  2. Heating Equipment
  3. Smoking
  4. Candles
  5. Outdoor Grilling
  6. Electrical
  7. Clothes Dryers

Cooking fire

In the United States, an average of 471 home structure fires are caused by cooking activities every day. A National Fire Protection Association study found that in the United States during a five-year period of 2012-2016, cooking was the leading cause of home fires (48%), home fire injuries (45%), and the second leading cause of home fire deaths (21%).

Leading factors in home cooking fires: 2012-2016

  • Unattended Cooking 32%
  • Abandoned or discarded material 11%
  • Heat source too close to combustibles 9%
  • Misuse of material 8%
  • Unintentionally turned on or not turned off 8%
  • Failure to clean 7%

The most common materials ignited are grease, oils, and flammable items such as plastic bags and paper products left on or near the stove.

Safety Precautions for Residents

  • Don’t use the stove or stovetop if you have been consuming alcohol or are sleepy.
  • Do not leave your cooking unattended. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains, loose-fitting clothing – away from your stovetop.
  • Keep your stove and oven clean and free of grease build-up.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep children and pets away from the stove while cooking.

If You Have a Small Grease Cooking fire

  • Stovetop fire
    • Smother the flames by sliding a lid or another pan over the pan.
    • Turn off the burner.
    • Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
    • Do not throw water on the fire!
  • Oven fire
    • Turn off the heat
    • Keep the door closed.

Need Help

  • Get out! Close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1

Additional Safety Information

  1. Evacuation Tips
  2. Window Security Bars
  3. Smoke Alarm/Detectors
  4. Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

When you hear a fire alarm or you encounter smoke or fire, take the following steps to ensure your safe evacuation of the building:

  • Treat every alarm as a real fire emergency.
  • Leave your unit as quickly as possible, closing the front door as you go.
  • Pull the fire alarm as you exit, if the fire alarm is not sounding.
  • Use the stairs, not the elevators, to evacuate the building.
  • Once outside, move away from the building to your designated meeting place.
  • Once you have left the building, do not go back for any reason until the fire department has given permission.

Physically Unable to Evacuate

If you are unable to use stairs to evacuate, you have two alternate fire evacuation methods:

  • First would be a predetermined area of refuge. A predetermined area of refuge can be a Stair Enclosure Landing or an Elevator Lobby. Speak to your building manager to determine which of these locations would be most appropriate for your building.
  • Second would be to remain in your apartment (as long as the fire is not in your individual apartment).
    • Keep doors closed to act as a barrier to the smoke.
    • Use towels or clothing to block openings.
    • Place a signal in the window to call attention to your location.
    • If you feel that your life is in jeopardy, call 9-1-1 to report your location.
    • If smoke or fire enter your unit, stay low to the floor and put a wet cloth over your mouth or nose.

Make an escape plan 

  • Pick your family’s meeting place outside of your home where everyone will meet.
  • Practice your escape plan with everyone in your family two times each year.
  • Always remember if you have a fire, call 9-1-1 and never go back inside a burning building.

Evacuation plan