Unfortunately house and apartment fires are a common occurrence. Often these fires can be prevented if you know what to look out for. Feel free to share theses 9 tips to be proactive when it comes to fire prevention for your apartment!
1. Use “power strips” to avoid overloaded circuits.
When there are sudden spikes of electricity (due to electrical storms, etc.), the power strip will either smooth them out or shut itself down (because it has a safety mechanism inside.)
2. Use the correct wattage for your light bulbs.
If you use conventional light bulbs (not fluorescent), make sure you get the correct wattage. Don’t use a 100 watt light bulb in a 40 watt socket. This will lead to overheating and possibly cause a fire.
3. Opt to purchase auto-shut off appliances.
It is a good idea to buy appliances with an auto-shut off feature. (Irons, coffee pots, etc.) If you don’t remember if you shut off your iron or coffee maker or not, you can rest assured knowing that it will shut off after a few minutes of non-use.
4. Don’t throw water on a grease fire.
Use baking soda if you have to. The best thing to do is to turn off the appliance and let it cool off. If it’s an oven, keep the door shut. Opening the door will let in more oxygen and intensify the fire.
5. Frequently clean cooking appliances.
Make it a point to regularly clean your cooking appliances after use. Food builds up around the heating source/element under high temperatures turns to charcoal and can catch fire.
6. Purchase a carbon monoxide alarm.
Get a Monoxide alarm. Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous gas which you can’t see nor smell, yet it is deadly in enclosed spaces. Carbon Monoxide in the home is usually produced by oil furnaces or gas appliances when the fuel is not burned correctly.
7. Test your alarms.
Test your smoke and CO2 alarms monthly.
8. Get your chimney cleaned.
If your condo or apartment has a fireplace, make sure to get the chimney checked out annually. Based on the type of wood you burn, you can get a lot of build up inside the chimney which can light on fire without you ever knowing.
9. Buy a portable fire extinguisher or two.
It is always a good idea to get a portable fire extinguisher for your apartment, in case a fire does occur. The kitchen is usually the best place to keep this.
If there is a fire in your apartment (perhaps started in a neighbors apartment) consider getting a fireproof safe to keep your important documents, money, and other valuables locked up and fire protected.