It’s one of a renter’s worst nightmares: you come home from work to find your carpet soaked and a burst pipe gushing underneath your bathroom sink. You don’t have the tools or expertise to fix it yourself… so what’s a renter to do? When there’s no time to waste and you need apartment maintenance, it’s good to know what you can do right away.
‘Apartment Safety’ Category
October 4th – 10th is Fire Safety Week, so we’ve assembled a list of important things to keep in mind when preventing fires, planning escape strategies, and responding quickly in the event of an apartment fire.
1. Practice Fire Prevention
One of the most important things you can do to prevent fires is to be proactive. Fortunately, there are a few simple tasks you can perform to save a lot of trouble. Smoking is the number one cause of fires, so make sure to put out your cigarettes completely, and to never smoke in bed. Another important tip is to avoid keeping any flammable liquids inside of your apartment, and to make sure that your matches and lighters are stowed out of reach of children. Lastly, make sure that you’re practicing safe electrical outlet protocol: don’t use frayed cords, overload your outlets, or keep liquids nearby.
Making sure a home is safe and livable for any senior should first priority when it comes to senior apartment living. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to deal with safety concerns for your senior’s apartment. Appliance safety (and ease of use), mobility issues, security concerns: all can be addressed to make sure that a senior living on their own is both comfortable and well cared for. Whether you make these modifications on your own or with the help of an occupational therapist, there are plenty of small things you can do to an apartment that will make a big difference for a senior’s apartment safety.
The old adage, “April showers bring May flowers” doesn’t account for when those April showers get out of hand. Unfortunately, many of the country’s worst storms happen during the spring and can sometimes lead to flash flooding, steady downpours, and electrical outages. Bad weather that creates a power outage is no fun but it can also quickly escalate to more dire straights if your emergency kit was never stocked. At ApartmentSearch, we think being prepared is the best policy. Here are the emergency supplies to keep on hand year ’round. Read the rest of this entry »
There you are on a sandy beach, basking in the sun, your cell phone and laptop far away, when suddenly it hits you: Rent is due in two days! And you can’t remember if you paid your utility bills! And… oh God… did you leave the stove on? Did you even remember to lock your apartment door?! If this scenario sounds like something you might experience while on vacation, don’t fear. Before you depart from your apartment for summer vacation, be sure to do these 7 things.
1. Plan ahead to pay rent and utilities.
Avoid the mid-vacation panic of remembering overdue bills by planning ahead a little. Before you leave, set up autopay online for both or pay them ahead of time.
2. Take care of your mail.
If you are expecting deliveries while you are away, ask your neighbors to receive them or bring them in for you until you get back. If the mail item will be delivered to the leasing office, you should also notify your apartment’s management so they will know to hold it for you until you return. Read the rest of this entry »
Renters insurance: the unsung hero of apartment safety. If you don’t have renters insurance, you might want to think twice about how you’re protecting your apartment and all your precious stuff.
Why do you need renters insurance? Well, renters insurance is used to cover you if something happens to your apartment that costs you money. Of course, what your renters insurance covers really depends on the type of policy you get, but even having a little can be better than living in an apartment uninsured.
Still not convinced? Consider these four scenarios. Some are likely, some are silly, but all are perfectly good reasons to consider getting renters insurance.
Fire! Fire! Four-Alarm!
Let’s say your neighbor—we’ll call him “Bob”—is trying his hand at making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. Deep-fried turkey is all the rage this year, and he’s decided to give it a try. What Bob doesn’t know is that you should never deep fry a frozen turkey because the combination of hot oil and cold bird can lead to splattered oil and a big, bad fire. Fortunately, you and Bob are both okay, but neither of your apartments were so lucky. Renter’s insurance can cover the damages to your belongings and the repairs to your apartment.
The Wrath of Your Landlord
Threatening phone calls, demands for money, reminders that if you don’t pay up there’ll be trouble– it’s not a scene from The Godfather, it’s just your landlord making sure you have renters insurance. Sometimes landlords require tenants to have renters insurance upon signing a lease. Not having renters insurance, or at the very least being unable to prove that you have it, could lead to hefty fines or even eviction. By getting renters insurance you can avoid wearing concrete shoes and sleepin’ with the fishes, see?
Lawsuit from a Friend-Turned-Foe
You’ve just moved in to your new apartment and your friend has graciously volunteered help you move your furniture and paint the walls. Unfortunately she’s a bit of a klutz, so she falls off the ladder and breaks her arm while painting a hard-to-reach corner. Even though you’re very concerned, she gets angry, and decides to end your friendship, stick you with all her medical bills, and sue you to boot. Renters insurance can give you liability protection, which could cover expenses within your liability limit like legal costs and hospital bills.
An Overexcited Bathtub Faucet
Some apartments are older than others, which means that some of their features can be a little… persnickety. Let’s say it’s been a long day, so you decide to run a bath and relax; however, once the tub is full, you discover that the faucet is stuck and the tub’s drain cover won’t budge. You’re forced to watch your floors get soaked as you call the apartment’s emergency maintenance team. Now your carpets are ruined, your shoes are sopping, and your downstairs neighbor is complaining about a dripping ceiling. Renters insurance can help cover those costs, which is especially helpful if the landlord’s policy doesn’t help you out with them.
Did you know it’s National Severe Weather Preparedness Week? Being prepared for bad weather in apartments is essential to safe apartment living. If you live in an area that is susceptible to natural disasters and severe weather, stay safe by being prepared for whatever nature might throw your way. Today we bring your our top resources for severe weather preparedness in apartments, including a roundup of free resources from organizations like the Red Cross, FEMA, and the CDC.
American Red Cross – Plan & Prepare Guides
These guides from the American Red Cross help households, schools, and workplaces prepare for emergencies. The Tools and Resources page contains extensive checklists and guides in many different languages. Apartment-dwellers will find the Prepare Your Home and Family page especially helpful.
ApartmentSearch.com – Apartment Tornado Safety
Tornados warnings have an average lead-time of only 13 minutes, according to NOAA. Because of this, it is important for renters to be prepared for a tornado. Use these tips from ApartmentSearch.com so you’ll know what to do if a tornado ever touches down near your apartment.
ApartmentSearch.com – Tips for Apartment Emergency Preparedness
As part of our apartment resources for renters, this list of tips for dealing emergencies in apartments includes hurricane, tornado, fire, and flooding safety, plus some important basic apartment safety tips. Check this while you prepare your apartment’s interior and its occupants for severe weather and natural disasters.
ApartmentSearch.com – Tips for Flooded Apartments
Flooding can happen as a result of lots of severe weather conditions. Hurricanes, tsunamis, flash floods, and heavy rainstorms can all cause flooding. Even plain old freezing weather can cause pipes to burst and lead to a flooded apartment. If the latter happens, use this guide to deal with apartment flooding.
This resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contains recommendations for what to do before, during, and after a natural disaster or severe weather occurrence. Everything is here: earthquakes, extreme heat, flooding, hurricanes, landslides, lightning, mudslides, tornados, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, and severe winter weather.
FEMA – Ready.gov
Here the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a comprehensive guide to dealing with all kinds of disasters. On this site you can get the information you need to deal with all stages of an emergency, construct a plan for emergencies, build an emergency preparedness kit, and more.
NOAA – Weather.gov
This page of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) site has the latest forecast information across the U.S. If you are anticipating severe weather, check here for regional and city-specific updates.
The Weather Channel – Disaster Supply Kit Checklists
Check out this page for a comprehensive roundup of different components of emergency supply kits. From food to first aid kits, tools to toilet paper, you’ll find a list for every contingency.
Have you taken a good look at your apartment’s kitchen lately? Chances are, it’s not as clean as you think. Your kitchen is just one of many areas in your apartment that may be harboring germs. That’s because there are lots of places in apartments we don’t think twice about that could definitely benefit from a good scrubbing. You should regularly vacuum, mop, and dust your apartment, of course, but there are plenty of unlikely culprits remaining.
Take some sanitizing wipes or a good cleaning spray and go over these things in your apartment to eliminate inconspicuous germs and stay healthy.
Purses, Laptop Bags and/or Backpacks
Your bag goes with you everywhere, and is set on all manner of chairs and floors over the course of the day. Give the outside a quick cleaning with a wipe or a washcloth, and be sure you clean it out regularly. You never know what might be lingering in the bottom of that bag.
If you use your apartment’s gym, be sure you wipe down the gym equipment after you use it. Most apartments’ gyms have a spray bottle of cleaners and some paper towels handy for this surface. Wipe down anything you touched, including the dashboards of any cardio equipment and the seats of weight machines. If your apartment has no gym, be sure you clean any home gym equipment or yoga mats you may have.
Sponges and Dishrags
Your apartment’s kitchen cleaning implements spend so much time cleaning dirty dishes and surfaces that they become culprits for harboring germs themselves. Wash them out every day, and put your sponges in the microwave for two minutes on high to dry and disinfect them. Replace your sponges every month to help keep your apartment’s kitchen germ-free. You can also throw your scrub brush in your dishwasher with each load of dishes, and let the machine do the work for you!
Clean your cutting boards after every use, and be extra thorough if you have used them to cut raw meat. Use two cutting boards, if you have them; one for meat, and one for fruits and vegetables.
Think about the last time you blew your nose, and then think about everything in your apartment’s living room that you touched afterward. Those are the kinds of surfaces that could benefit from a quick spritz of disinfectant. Pay attention to your apartment’s doorknobs, remote controls, light switches, computer keyboards, and faucet knobs.
More Tips from ApartmentSearch.com
What could be nicer on a cold winter evening than a crackling fire? Most apartments unfortunately do not have that beautiful, warm and toasty fireplace. But if you are one of the few that have a working fireplace in your apartment, count yourself lucky. Your landlord should ensure that the chimney is working order. But inside the apartment, safety of operation is in your hands. Here are some tips to maintain apartment safety when you have a fireplace.
Make sure smoke alarms are in working order. Smoke alarms are vital to apartment safety. Check them once a month, and replace batteries at least once a year.
Use a mesh screen. For apartment safety, keep the screen closed when a fire is lit. If the fireplace doesn’t have a built-in screen, get one that completely covers the front of the fireplace. This will keep sparks from popping out and igniting nearby materials.
Keep the fireplace area clear. This is another important apartment safety tip. Anything flammable such as paper, furniture, rugs, and wood should be kept at least 3 feet from the fireplace.
Never start a fire with gas or other flammable liquids. Flammable liquids release vapors that can explode, endangering your apartment safety.
Have a fire extinguisher on hand. This device helps to ensure your apartment safety. If an extinguisher is not present, ask your landlord to provide one or purchase your own.
Use the damper correctly. For apartment safety, be sure the damper is open when you start a fire. Close the damper when the fireplace is not in use.
Be careful what you burn. Your apartment safety depends on it. For example, do not burn a green Christmas tree, which can throw off lots of sparks and cause a chimney fire. If you burn newspapers, remove the color sections—they can release toxic gases when burned.
Never leave a fire unattended. Extinguish a fire before you go to bed or leave your apartment. Safety precautions like this can help protect you and your belongings.
Practice good fireplace apartment safety, and you’ll be able to enjoy those cozy fires on chilly nights without worry.
If you don’t have a fireplace and would like one, why not look for a new apartment? Safety, location, price, and other features are all things you’ll want to consider. Search our listings of Seattle apartments, Dallas apartments, Phoenix apartments, and Austin apartments to find the perfect new home for you.
Foremost, it is important to make sure that your apartment is safe from accidents. Before you leave you apartment check all faucets (during freezes in winter it may be wise to leave a drip running), turn off all light switches, check the stove, and scan the surroundings of electrical outlets. An extra safe step: clean each room. Take stock of items that may need to be stowed away and safety hazards that can be avoided. At bare minimum, take out your trash, do your dishes and seal all non-perishables. Pests and rodents are real risks. Especially in a warm, dark, empty apartments.
Cleaning your apartment living quarters comes with an added bonus of coming home to serenity after the stresses of travel. Conserving energy can also alleviate some travel induced stress. Saving energy saves money in your pocketbook! Do not get charged for energy services that you aren’t using! Be sure to shut the blinds, move plants to one window sill if possible, turn off (or up) the air conditioning, and unplug all cords and power strips. Not only does this also add another element of safety, it saves the planet!
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