Living in an apartment presents unique challenges when it comes to fire safety. A small fire in one apartment can quickly spread flames, heat, and smoke into adjoining apartments, which can put everyone who occupies the apartment building at risk. In 2016, there were over 95,000 fires in apartments in the United States. Taking steps ahead of time can keep you and your loved ones safe in case of a fire.
Check Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers
Being immediately aware of the presence of smoke or fire is the first step in getting you and your loved ones out safely in case of a fire. Smoke detectors are designed to detect the presence of smoke and emit a high-pitched alarm if smoke is present. Make sure your apartment has a smoke detector in each room, and check each alarm every month by pushing the test button. If your smoke detector isn’t working, alert your landlord right away. Additionally, if your apartment has a fire extinguisher, check the inspection date on the canister. If the inspection time has passed, let your landlord know to schedule an inspection by the local fire department.
Have an Escape Plan in Place
Being prepared in case of an emergency can help everyone in the apartment stay calm should a fire occur. Map out an escape plan that includes routes out of the building and a place to meet outside. Run “fire drills” during the day and evening to practice the planned escape route and make changes if necessary. If your apartment has a fire safety plan posted, review it regularly and practice it.
Obtain Renters Insurance
Apartment dwellers aren’t responsible for obtaining insurance for the apartment itself, so many people aren’t aware their items aren’t protected in case of a fire. To replace personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and cooking appliances in case they’re stolen, damaged, or destroyed, you should purchase renters insurance. San Diego residents can buy insurance plans that vary depending on the value of their personal items, such as jewelry or electronics. Talk with a local insurance agent for more information on obtaining the proper amount of renters insurance to protect yourself.
Be Aware of Fire Hazards
Being aware of potential fire hazards in hallways, common areas, or other apartments and reporting them can protect everyone in the building in case of a fire. These hazards may include items that block stairwells or hallways, missing or broken community fire extinguishers, a neighbor’s smoke detector that continually makes noise, or stairwell doors that are propped open. If you identify a potential hazard, make note of it and talk to your landlord or building superintendent to take care of the problem immediately. Additionally, before signing a lease for a new apartment, take the time to walk through and look for fire hazards and bring them to the attention of the landlord before moving into your new space.
If you’re renting an apartment, it’s unlikely your landlord’s insurance policy will cover your property or assume liability for accidents in your home. Protect yourself and your belongings by purchasing renters insurance that covers loss or damage to your possessions and liability claims that arise from injuries that occur in your home. Altra Insurance Services offers a variety of insurance policies, including renters, motorcycle, and car insurance. San Diego residents can trust the experienced agents at Altra Insurance Services. Call one of our friendly agents today at (800) 719-9972 to request a free quote.