Are you following grill storage and usage safety rules?
Grilling outdoors is a fun pastime and a great way to have a good meal with friends and family. It’s also a great way to start a fire in an apartment building, if not following grill safety rules. Barbeque, gas grills, fire pits, and other cooking appliances should not be used on a balcony or in an apartment unit. Apartment building owners may create a common grill area for tenants in a safe location, away from awnings and combustible areas.
Does every apartment have a working smoke detector?
Smoke alarms are our first defense against an apartment fire. Make sure at least one is installed in every kitchen and in or outside each bedroom. Test your smoke alarm monthly. If the smoke alarm is wired versus battery-operated, inform your landlord or management company if it needs to be replaced.
Is everyone storing electrical cords correctly?
Older apartment buildings may not have the number of electrical outlets we may currently require to run all electronics. And even though we have the means to overload an outlet with outlet adapters, try not to. Electrical outlets account for over 51,000 fires per year. Keep an eye on all of your electrical outlet wires and replace any that are cracked, frayed, or damaged.
Are portable space heaters being kept away from combustibles?
Being warm in colder months is important, but place space heaters at least three feet away from anything flammable. Space heaters can be a serious fire hazard if not placed in their own area. And remember–never leave a space heater running when no one is home!
Are your fire escape routes blocked?
Make sure all windows, fire escapes, and doors are all free and clear from clutter, garbage, furniture, etc. This allows you to easily escape from the apartment should a fire break out. Windows should be able to open and not be painted or nailed shut. Have the windows repaired or replaced, as necessary.
Do you have a fire escape plan?
Make sure that you and your fellow tenants have a fire escape plan should a fire occur in your building. Start with making sure you have a fire escape plan for your own individual unit. Second, reach out to others in your building and make sure they have a plan too. Your building’s residents can work with your landlord or property manager to nominate floor captains, create a buddy system for the elderly or disabled, and help you all feel better about each other’s safety in case a fire occurs.
For more information on common area safety in an apartment building, check out our Fire Prevention Checklist for Apartment Buildings Part One: Common Areas.