A fire at West Hollywood council member Lindsey Horvath’s apartment building this past weekend prompted the Los Angeles County Supervisor hopeful to remind the community about fire safety preparedness in case of an emergency. She reminded residents to make a plan in case of fire and to support funding fire safety and prevention efforts.
“Yesterday, my neighbors and I had to face a new type of emergency in this time of crisis – a fire in our building,” reads a post on her official Instagram account this past Monday in reference to a fire emergency on Sunday, March 27, 2022. “An important reminder to make a plan; have your documents, medications, and essentials in a safe place for easy retrieval; and to support funding for fire safety & prevention efforts. Special thanks to @lacountyfd @lasdwesthollywoodstation @wehocity@redcrossla & everyone who helped to keep us safe & cared for. #weho”
In a video message on the same post, council member Horvath revealed that three units burned down, leaving three families displaced.
“I know we’ve been talking a lot in the city about law enforcement, but we also need to be thinking about fire safety and how we are prepared in the emergency situation of a fire in our building or in our neighborhood. Last night there was a fire in my building, which resulted in three families being displaced. All of them are immigrant families. One of them lost a lot of important documents that they had written; text and literature that they brought.”
American Home Shield (AHS) recommends holding a family meeting to talk about fire safety:
At-Home Fire Safety Plan Tips
• Together, walk through your home and talk about possible exits and escape routes that you could take in the event of a fire. Discuss what would happen if a fire occurred during daylight hours and if one occurred at night, when the family was asleep.
• Draw up a floor plan of your home, and indicate two potential ways out of each room using windows and doors. NFPA has a downloadable escape planning grid that you can use, and a downloadable brochure about keeping escape routes clear. The Red Cross also offers this printable home fire escape plan in English and in Spanish.
• With your family, talk about the importance of smoke alarms and how they work. Point out the location of each one in your house, and and test the alarms so that family members are familiar with how they sound when triggered.
• If your home has infants, toddlers, older adults, or disabled family members, make sure your escape plan has people who are assigned to assist them in case of emergency.
• For second story rooms, make sure that every family member has access to emergency escape fire ladder equipment that can be used from windows. Practice retrieving and using the ladders, always with adult supervision.
• With your family, select an outside meeting place well away from the home to gather after an escape.
• Practice evacuating your home as quickly as possible. Hold practice fire drills that simulate both daytime and nighttime emergencies. Rehearse touching closed doors and door knobs or handles to see if they are hot from fire, and how to stay in place and seal the room as much as possible if fire prevents escaping a room. Discuss how to call the fire department or signal from a window to let responders know where you are if you can’t get out. Practice escaping halls and rooms by crawling low to avoid smoke if needed.
• Make a plan to help pets evacuate safely, too, if possible.
• Stress to all members of your family that, in case of a fire, getting out of the home is the most important goal. Don’t stop to grab valuables when human life is at risk.
• Display your home’s fire safety plan and diagram in a central location so that family members can familiarize themselves with the information.
• Make sure that everyone understands not to re-enter the home until fire personnel have indicated that it is safe to do so.
AHS also recommends taking a look at house/apartment numbers are clearly visible, even at night, so that emergency responders can properly locate your home quickly.