Apartment life offers many conveniences. But there are also some risks involved. For example, you can’t control what the person in the apartment next door does, even though you both share a wall, a roof, etc. That proximity and shared space mean it’s even more important to avoid apartment fires by practicing fire safety.
Here are 10 crucial tips:
1. Make Some Noise
Noise can be a very helpful part of your apartment fire safety plan. We’re talking about two kinds of apartment noise here:
- The kind of noise your smoke alarm makes when you test it at least once per month.
- The kind of noise you’ll make when you speak with your building manager about obstructed exits, fire doors being propped open, and safety violations of all kinds.
2. Map Your Moves
Learn the locations of the nearest exits and fire extinguishers in your apartment building. Don’t stop there, though. Once out of the burning building, you’ll need to stay away so as not to create more congestion around the area while firefighters battle the blaze. Make sure you pinpoint that area on your map.
3. Boost Your Memory
Studies have shown that physically rehearsing something can help your body retain important — or even life-saving — information about how to move. This is what is referred to as your muscle memory. Muscle memory is especially beneficial in high-stress situations where you might otherwise be flustered.
4. Be a Team Player, Not a Hero
Real danger can bring out the best in us. But that doesn’t mean you should risk your life because you want to make sure one of your neighbors has escaped. Immediately notify the nearest firefighter once you are outside. Trying to rescue others may only create a larger problem for the firefighters.
5. Clear the Way!
Moving swiftly through a smoke-filled apartment or hallway is not the best time to be darting around your computer bag, the recycling you didn’t take out, and that stack of library books you need to return. Keep your apartment floor and hallways clear of clutter to eliminate all potential hurdles between you and safety.
6. An Ounce of Prevention …
Ordinarily, it’s safe to say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Which is to say that making sure something bad doesn’t happen is better than recovering from it. When an apartment fire is the topic, though, an ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure. For instance, do not leave frying foods unattended in the kitchen. Or if you smoke, ensure every cigarette butt is fully extinguished when you’re finished.
7. Shut It
Before you go to sleep, shut your bedroom door. Doing so can help minimize damage or physical harm from the fire itself or smoke inhalation. You only have about three minutes — or less — to escape a residential fire. Every second counts. If you can buy yourself even one extra second by closing your door, it sounds like a good idea! And if you wake up to a fire alarm or blaring smoke detector, don’t freak! Here are additional apartment safety tips for you and your family.
8. Fake It
Some apartment buildings ban open flames of any kind, which means candles are a no-no from the start. Some people ignore such rules, though, which can have devastating consequences. If YOU love the ambiance of a flickering candle, pick up the more convenient and far safer electric version. After all, an apartment on fire is a high price to pay for setting a mood.
9. Put Your Name on a List
Does a disability prevent you from making a swift escape? Ask your landlord or building manager if your name and apartment number can be placed on a list in the fire alarm panel or other location that’s secure but readily accessible by the fire department.
10. Be Neighborly
If your apartment building prohibits grilling under covered patios, walkways, or balconies, obey those rules. And make sure all exits are cleared of debris that could hinder escape or support. If you see any violations of such apartment fire safety precautions, refer back to #1 on this list and make some noise — to your landlord or building management company.
If being neighborly and alerting responsible parties aren’t enough to set your mind at ease, or if you’re looking to upgrade to a more modern apartment complex, it’s time to search apartments on ApartmentSearch.com. The process is easy and rewarding. After you sign your lease, let us know and we’ll hook you up with a $200 reward!