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Be Prepared Ahead of Time

While the chances of a fire or other major emergency may seem remote, it is important to familiarize yourself ahead of time with what to do in case of an emergency.


The following of this handbook provide information on what to do in various emergency situations, including:


Familiarize Yourself with Exits

Take the time to learn the location of the emergency exits and stairwells.

You Should Also Know

  • Learn the location of and how to operate water shut-off valves for your unit.
  • Learn the location of and how to operate emergency breakers to turn off power in your unit.

If You Require Assistance

If anyone living in your unit is unable to use the stairs or otherwise requires assistance leaving the building in the case of an emergency, please notify the Property Manager.


In Case of Fire or Alarm

Fire emergencies occur at Somerset Gardens when the central alarm system detects smoke or fumes, or on occasion, when a short in the system causes a false alarm.  In either case, the fire department immediately responds by sending fire trucks.


Mandatory testing of the fire alarms – not requiring evacuation – is done monthly and residents are warned by notices posted in the elevators and lobby.


Somerset Gardens units are constructed so that a fire will normally be contained within the unit for a minimum of 30 minutes.  If you decide to escape (rather than retreat to your balcony) make sure that the door closes behind you and leave the door unlocked.  The door closer is there for safety reasons.  Do not allow it to be removed or disabled.  Your front door should never be left propped open for any length of time.  Please inform the Board if you will require assistance in the event of an emergency.


In the event of smoke in your unit, e.g. from burning toast, do not open you front door to ventilate as the escaping smoke could set off the central alarm system bringing the Fire Department here on a false alarm.  For more information see “smoke detectors”.

If You Discover a Fire

  • Leave the area of danger
  • Close all doors in your path of exit
  • Sound the alarm
  • Telephone the (911) fire department from an area of safety
  • Refrain from using an elevator
  • Use a safe exit stairwell

Upon Hearing Fire Alarm

  • Turn off all appliances and equipment
  • Feel the door before opening it; if warm, remain in your suite
  • If not, leave the building by the nearest exit, closing doors behind you
  • Take your keys with you


  • If smoke is heavy in the corridor, it may be safer to remain in your area
  • Remain calm

In Case of Water Leak

Water leakage from a unit’s plumbing can be frustrating as well as devastating. It is important that residents take certain precautions, such as shutting off the water turn-off valves, particularly if the unit is to be left vacant for any length of time.  Somerset Garden units have a main water supply valve in each unit.  It is located below the sink in the bathroom.  Ideally, if you are to be away for a extended period of time it would be a wise precaution to turn off valves.  


It is important that you report any accidental overflow, such as the bathtub spilling over.  By doing so, you will help locate the source of the water and determine if the flow is temporary or continuous.


In a multi-unit residential complex such as ours, a water leak originating in one unit can quickly spread and cause extensive damage to other units in the building. As well as the damage and disruption experienced by many people, depending on the cause and insurance situation, you may be held responsible for damage. As a result, it is important to guard against any possible water leak, and take prompt action if a leak should still occur.


Water-flooding emergencies 

Water-flooding emergencies should be reported to the Property Manager.  Water flooding in one unit can cause damage to another unit.  

Preventing Leaks

  • Do not leave any tap, such as that of a bath, running unattended for any reason.
  • Replace washer hoses on a regular basis, at the interval recommended by the manufacturer, typically every 3-5 years.
  • Shut off the main water supply valves if you will be leaving your unit for an extended period of time.
  • If you detect a small leak, have it repaired before it develops into a major catastrophe.

If a Leak Occurs

  • Immediately contact property manager to notify them of the leak, regardless of the apparent severity. Prompt action can help curb the spread of the leak.
  • Using the water shut-off valves in your unit as necessary, stop the flow of water.
  • If possible, use towels or blankets to absorb as much of the leaked water, to prevent it from spreading to other areas or units.

Miscellaneous Emergencies

Elevator emergencies

Should an emergency occur while you are in the elevator use the emergency telephone to notify the person monitoring the line and ask to have a service technician come immediately. It is important to remain calm. If you are about to board the elevator and it doesn’t appear to be working properly, do not use it and report the problem to the Property Manager.  

Other emergencies

Other incidents arise from time to time, such as lost keys, spillage in corridors, all of which should be reported to the Property Manager.  
If you see any suspicious activity in the garage or elsewhere on the premises, do not attempt to deal with it yourself.  Call 911 and then immediately advise the Property Manager of your action.  

Who to Contact

If Personal Safety is Threatened

In any situation where your personal safety is threatened, you should immediately call the normal emergency services 911 line.

Other After-Hours Emergency Situation

In any other emergency situations or urgent maintenance issues concerning safety, security or property damage such as icy walkways, damages after break-ins, elevator problems or flooding, please contact the The Condominium Management Group after hours emergency contact number at 613-762-5704.