Are You Prepared for an Apartment Fire?
It's possible for a fire to happen in any home, but the chances increase exponentially when you live in an apartment building since the number of people is increased. No matter where you live, a fire is a scary event. However, if you live in an apartment it is especially important that you are prepared in case there is a fire. Here are some tips to help you.
Don't assume that your landlord is responsible for replacing your property if it is damaged in a fire. Unfortunately, most landlords will apologetically inform you after the fact that only the building is covered. In order to protect your stuff in the event of a fire you need to have renter's insurance. College students and families with small children should definitely have insurance since they have more constraints placed upon their time and will have a more difficult time replacing items that are damaged.
Smoke alarms should be checked to make sure they are working every six months. Of course, you probably assume this is your landlord's job and it likely is, but do you really want to trust your life on the fact that he is on top of your smoke alarm? Also, before you move in to a new apartment check and make sure it has a fire extinguisher. If your apartment doesn't have one, make sure to get one. You never know when you might need it.
Another thing you should do after moving into a new apartment is decide on an emergency escape route. Many apartments have escape routes on the back of each entry door, but if yours doesn't, you need to make sure you know several ways to safely get out of the apartment should you need to do so. If you live on an elevated floor you might want to consider purchasing a fire escape ladder for an extra route of escape. Better to buy it and never use it than to wish you had it in an emergency.
Remember on the movie Father of the Bride 2 when the two women were having almost constant "false alarms"? Every few hours one of them would think they were in labor, the dads would grab the prepared suitcases and off they would go. Silly as it may seem, it is smart to prepare for a fire in a similar way. Have a bag packed with some necessary items like a change of clothes, cash, important phone numbers and paperwork, etc. Keep it somewhere near your front door so it is easily accessible should you need to grab it and get out of the building.