Fire Safety


The best first steps:

  • Do not store hazardous materials and/or excessive quantities of flammable materials in your unit, storage areas, common areas, or parking spaces.
  • Exercise care when using volatile substances within private units; insure good ventilation.
  • Do not use volatile materials in common areas
  • Exercise care when smoking.
  • Dispose of trash properly (see Appendix E).
  • Exercise care in the use of decorations, candles, lighting, and Christmas trees. The use of any form of fireworks in the building, on the roof, or from the building is prohibited.
  • Do not use charcoal cooking devices in the building or on the roof. A propane barbecue is available on the roof deck for resident use. Exercise care when using it; if not familiar with it ask for help (many in the building can help). Follow instructions carefully and DO NOT move it to an area that does not have good ventilation. If the propane tanks must be transported through the building (when taken to be refilled), do so carefully, insuring that the valves are tightly closed.
  • Become familiar with the building; plan and practice emergency escape procedures.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers, central alarm pull stations, and exiting options.

Fire Alarm System

The building is equipped with a central electronic fire detection and alarm system. The system is overseen by a larger system which is monitored 24/7 by an outside contractor.

A system alarm can be triggered by any one, or combination of, the following:

  • Manual pull stations located at both ends the halls and at various locations throughout the building. 
  • Smoke and heat detectors in common areas throughout the building. NOTE: Smoke detectors inside of private units ARE NOT connected to the central alarm system.
  • Flow of water in any of the fire sprinklers in the building.

The following is the sequence of events until the problem is resolved and the system reset:

  • An alarm and voice message will be activated and broadcast into the common areas.
  • The first “zone” to alarm sounds only on the “alarm floor” and the floors immediately above and below the alarm floor.
  • If another zone subsequently goes into alarm status, a general, building-wide alarm will sound.
  • The large fire doors separating the passenger elevator lobbies from the rest of the hallways will automatically close.
  • The passenger elevator will immediately return to the first floor and then go out of service (fire department personnel can use it manually).
  • The stairwells will become pressurized by the action of (noisy) fans at the top of the stairs to ensure that smoke and fire do not enter these emergency exit stairwells when doors are opened. This condition will make opening the doors into the stairwells difficult but not impossible—extra force is required.
  • The fire department will be immediately dispatched.

The readiness of the alarm systems are tested routinely as required by the City of Portland. All residents will be notified in advance of scheduled tests by memos posted at all passenger elevator lobbies. During the testing sessions, the alarms in the building will go off intermittently.

Sprinkler System

The sprinkler heads throughout the building are designed to operate independently when triggered by high heat. Each head can spray a significant amount of water. Water flow anywhere in this system will automatically trigger the building’s fire alarm system which, in turn, will automatically summon the Portland Fire Department.

Water will continue to flow until the fire department arrives and determines it is safe to shut off the system.

  • Be very careful when working around any sprinkler head since they will flow if broken by physical action.
  • Any alteration of the sprinkler system must be performed by a licensed sprinkler contractor who will design and obtain a permit for the associated work. They will also coordinate any necessary shutdowns and, when complete, refill and re-pressurize the system.
  • Do not stack or store anything within 18” of the sprinkler heads, or otherwise place objects which will block the sprinkler head’s spray pattern. Doing so is likely to substantially reduce their effectiveness in the event of a fire. 

Unit Fire Procedures

In the event of a fire in your unit, your first option is to yourself and others in the unit. Be aware that there are fire extinguishers available in the halls. If the fire is not controllable, the resident should exit the unit immediately, close the door securely, pull the nearest alarm station on the floor (adjacent to doors to the stairwells), and exit the building via the emergency stairs. The pull station alarm, in addition to signaling all residents on all floors, will automatically initiate a response from the Portland Fire Department.

The first notification of a fire will likely be the smoke detector when the fire is small. The sooner it is controlled the better of course. Once the fire reaches the level that a fire sprinkler triggers, it is because the temperature at the ceiling level reaches about 180 degrees. And while the sprinkler is likely to contain the fire, the outcome will likely be a lot of water damage (in your unit and those below you) before the sprinkler system is shut down by the fire department. 

REMINDER: Your unit's smoke detector will not automatically initiate the building fire alarm and, therefore, not alert the fire department--a sprinkler head tripping will. So if only the smoke detector is going off, and if you are expecting the fire department to be dispatch, it is critical that you call 911 or pull the pull station at the end of your hall.

Maintain your smoke detector and check it at least monthly.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are located in the halls throughout the building. Identify the locations of those closest to your unit/s. Notify Management if they have been used or removed.

In addition to the common area extinguishers, we encourage unit owners/residents to have and maintain an extinguisher in the unit.

Emergency Exits

There are emergency exit stairways located at both ends of each floor’s hallways.  Become familiar with their location and layout.


In the event of an actual alarm, the passenger elevator is automatically taken out of service. Take the stairs to the first floor and exit the building; go to the front door and do not re-enter the building until the fire department personnel give the OK.

Building Construction

As a Class 1 structure, ISL’s construction is highly fire resistant.  Walls and doors that separate spaces are designed to contain and slow the spread of fire. Additions or modifications to units by the owners or tenant-lessees shall be in compliance with the ISL Bylaws and City of Portland building code and permitting requirements. Violations impose a risk of increased costs, or cancellation, of ISL insurance [BY Article 7.5 (j)]. See the Construction section for more detail.

  • Fire Doors: Access doors to the stairways, trash chutes, freight elevator vestibules and all common area doors are considered fire doors, designed to stop or slow the spread of fire. By design and code, they are intended to be kept closed when not actively in use. These doors are not to be left propped open.
  • Unit Doors: Doors accessing private units are also “fire doors” and, as such, shall also not be left propped open.