Being aware of fire safety in an apartment complex is everyone’s responsibility. No one wants to think about the worst-case scenario, but it pays to be prepared. There are several protective measures you can take to protect yourself and your apartment if an accident does happen.
Before you rent an apartment, you need to check to see if it is up-to-code. Examine the fire extinguishers, detectors, and sprinklers. If you have any questions or concerns, discuss them with the leasing agent or landlord.
2. Check Regularly
You should check that your smoke detectors work on a systematic basis. You should also be aware of the location of your fire extinguishers, and when they expire. Check if there is any corrosion or damage. If there is, contact the building manager to replace it.
Other things, like electrical sockets and wires, should be checked regularly too – but the building maintenance staff will typically handle that.
Cooking is one of the main causes of fires, so you need to be alert, especially if you are frequently in your kitchen. Never leave cooking unattended, don’t use your balcony as a place to grill or barbecue food, and don’t cook when tired. Have an alarm set and use oven gloves to avoid any burns.
Candles add atmosphere, fragrance, and ambiance, but they are also a well-known fire hazard. Keep candles away from children, pets, and anything flammable. Remember to blow them out when you leave or go to bed and don’t ever use them if there is an oxygen tank in the apartment.
Portable heaters can be a popular choice in apartments during the colder months, but you need to ensure you are using them correctly – this also applies to electric blankets. Only purchase newer models and pay attention to the instructor’s manual. Don’t purchase oversize heaters, and be sure to keep them a safe distance from other items – especially combustible ones. Keep children and pets away and place heaters on a flat, level surface. Don’t fall asleep with the heater on and don’t use it as your main source of warmth.
Have a plan with your family/roommates about what to do if there is a fire and speak to your apartment manager. Being aware of an escape route before an emergency can never be a bad thing.
In the event of a fire in your apartment or on your floor, move fast, try not to panic and follow your plan. Check doors with the back of your hand before opening, never use an elevator and stay close to the ground if you see smoke.
You always want to be prepared in the event of an emergency. It’s also good to actively prevent emergencies when possible. With these helpful tips, you are achieving both.