Take Precautions to Avoid Apartment Fires

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When searching for your next apartment, things like the number of bedrooms, square footage, and price are on the top of your mind. But the Texas Department of Insurance wants you to remember some essential fire safety tips when moving into a new apartment.  

“Look for sprinkler systems and fire alarms,” said Texas State Fire Marshal Orlando Hernandez. “The best systems have voices, not beeping because people wake up faster to a voice than a noise.” 

Hernandez told Ben Gonzalez or the Texas Department of Insurance recently that studies have shown that when sleeping, people tend to wake up faster to a voice rather than an annoying beep.  

Additionally, he said that before moving into an apartment, ensure working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You should replace devices ten years after their manufacturing date located on the back of the sensor. Many landlords will replace an old device, he added.  

According to Hernandez, there are several frequent causes for apartment fires — all of which can be avoided.  

The fire marshal stressed:  

  • Don’t cook when you’re tired or leave a cooking fire unattended. 
  • Don’t overload power outlets with chargers and electronics. 
  • Avoid candles, or at least keep combustibles away from them. Better yet, get artificial candles that flicker like a flame. 
  • Don’t put anything within three feet of a space heater. 
  • If you have a clothes dryer, clean the lint out of the vent.

Lastly, Hernandez says that wherever you are, always have an evacuation plan. Regardless of your location, be aware of your surroundings and look for an alternate exit different from the entrance.  

Agreeing with Hernandez about the fire safety tips, Gonzalez said apartment dwellers should remember that the landlord’s insurance only covers the building in case of fire damage. Therefore, he recommends all renters invest in renter’s insurance to protect their belongings in case of fire or smoke damage.  

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