Fires are never a fun thing to talk about. Oftentimes it’s easier to push it out of our minds and pretend like a fire situation could never happen to us. The sad truth of the matter is that anyone is susceptible to an apartment fire so it is important to make yourself aware of the precautions that you should take and the ways to keep yourself safe.
When you move into your apartment be smart and begin thinking of ways that you could exit the building in case of a fire. Count the number of doors that they are between your apartment and the nearest fire exit. Create and practice an escape route for your specific apartment. Try to come up with two different ways to exit in case one of them is blocked. If you have roommates, figure out a plan of escape and make a meeting spot for you all to meet up in once you have safely evacuated the building. Know the location of your fire extinguisher and how to use it. Remember, you should NEVER use an elevator to get out of a burning building. Always take the stairs.
Prevent a Fire
Most apartment fires occur from tenants doing their normal, everyday activities. Take every precaution to prevent a fire from starting in the first place. When you are cooking make sure that you do not leave burners or appliances unattended and that you do not have anything flammable close to the burners. Make sure that there is at least a three foot clearance around heaters! If you are burning candles make sure that you never leave an open flame unattended and keep them far from candles, blankets, or combustible items. Do NOT smoke in your apartment. JSM does not allow smoking in their properties, so make sure that you are not smoking in your apartment!
Know What to Do If You Can’t Get Out
Even though you have your evacuation plan in place and you are taking every precaution to make sure that a fire does not occur, you should still know what to do if a fire does happen. If you are trying to exit your apartment and your door feels warm to the touch, do NOT attempt to exit through that door. Try to find an alternative exit, if possible. If that door is the only exit, call 911 and tell the dispatcher your apartment number and location and that you cannot safely exit through your door. Then, you should stuff the cracks and spaces around the door with towels, rags, bedding, clothing, tape...anything to block smoke from coming through the gaps. Go to the nearest window and signal for help.
More Prevention Tips
Use surge protectors.
Check to make sure that you do not have cords that are frayed.
Don’t overload your circuits or extension cords.
Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing when cooking.
Clean your lint filter between each load of laundry and remove all collected lint.
Make sure that your smoke alarms are properly functioning in your apartment.
Check out more tips from Kurt, on the JSM maintenance team, on how to use a fire extinguisher and more!