An apartment can become a death trap in a matter of minutes, should a fire break out. There are only so many egress points (especially for one living very high up), which is why it is best to prevent fire, so escaping it doesn’t become the issue. Obviously, it’s not 100% preventable, which is why at the end of this, we will provide you with some tips for reacting, once a fire has broken out. The following are several tasks you should make sure have been handled, in order to prevent fires from igniting in your apartment:

  • Avoid storing flammable materials in your apartment. Should it be a necessity, keep said materials stored under proper conditions.
  • Extension cords are fine, just don’t overload them. Be smart about what you’re plugging in and where you’re plugging it in to.
  • Surge protectors are your friends. Use them. Not only will you avoid any potentially dangerous situations, you will also protect the appliances that you use the surge protectors with, thus saving money in the long run as well.
  • Keep anything that can start a fire, including matches and lighters, out of reach of children. This is obvious, but needs to be said, as not everyone manages to listen to this.
  • Do not use appliances which have frayed or cracked cords. Replace the cord immediately.
  • Do not put space heaters next to drapes or anything else flammable.
  • Do not leave lit candles unattended. Do not smoke in bed or leave burning cigarettes unattended.
  • Know your escape route. Know how you will react from the moment there is an emergency. What is the first step you will take? The second step? Etc.
  • Make sure exit paths are not blocked. This can have deadly consequences during an emergency.
  • Know how to maintain your composure. One of the worst things you can do during an emergency in your apartment is panic.
  • Make sure smoke detectors are installed in your apartment, especially in the kitchen and bedrooms. Without warning, a small, easily extinguishable fire can get out of control in a matter of minutes, which could have been prevented had you installed smoke detectors.
  • Know how to deal with different kinds of fires. You can’t just dump water on an electric fire, nor a grease fire. Not knowing how to deal with specific kinds of fires could make things much worse.
  • Keep fire extinguishers stored in places that make sense (ie your kitchen, bedroom, etc.) just in case you need to handle a fire yourself. The fire department does not need to be called if the fire is easily handled in a matter of moments.