The apartment fire question is a tough one, but one that needs to be asked: How prepared would you be if an apartment fire happened to you? While you may take care to prevent a fire — by unplugging irons after use, not leaving the oven or stove-top burners on unattended or for too long, et cetera — there’s always the possibility that your neighbors aren’t as cautious, or that an accident could happen. But no matter how an apartment fire starts, one thing is for sure: You need to be prepared. Here are some things to consider.
Get Renters Insurance
Many renters assume that should their property be destroyed or stolen, their landlord is responsible for replacing it all. This is not true — landlords are just responsible for the building. Buying renters insurance is a necessity, and it’s more affordable than you may think. While it may seem like a hassle and an added expense, you will be very glad you got it if something happens to your possessions.
Pack a Grab and Go Emergency Bag
It’s something that seems silly, but like renters insurance, you’ll be glad you had it if you ever need it. Pack a few days’ worth of clothes and maybe even a list of important phone numbers. Having this ready and in an easily accessible place means you’ll be less likely to want to run around and gather things before you vacate. In a fire, getting somewhere safe as soon as possible is extremely important.
Check Smoke Alarms and the Fire Extinguisher
When you first move into your apartment, you’ll want to check to make sure the smoke alarms and the fire extinguisher are working. If your apartment does not have these things, speak with your apartment manager immediately. Definitely be sure to check them regularly to make sure they are in working order. If they aren’t, put in a maintenance request to have them fixed. You may also want to learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher. These devices could wind up saving your life.
Make an Escape Plan
Perhaps the most important thing here, an escape plan will help you figure out the best and fastest way to get out of your apartment in a disaster situation. Know all the ways you can exit — at least two. If you don’t live on the ground floor, you may consider getting a fire escape ladder so that you could get out through a window. If you live in a building with elevators, know where the stairways are, as you should never take an elevator in a fire. You’ll want to not only make an escape plan, but try it out.
Of course, these are all just suggestions for safe living — there are many, many more ways you can and should prepare for an emergency. Every apartment is different. To get more information on how to best be prepared for an apartment fire, you can contact your local fire department or talk to your apartment manager.