prevent apartment fires

How to Prevent Apartment Fires

Fire safety is something that everyone needs to become familiar with, especially people who live in apartments, dorms, and other multi-use buildings. The consequences of careless actions can affect many people. The purpose of this blog is to help our residents become more aware of fire hazards and simple fire safety precautions that can be taken to be safe from the threat of fire.

Modern living has provided us with wonderful conveniences that have made our lives so much easier than the lives of our ancestors. We enjoy electricity, natural gas, running water and appliances that do so much work for us such as water heaters, refrigerators, range/ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, washers, and dryers.  However, these conveniences do present potential dangers to us with the greatest danger being causing a fire.

With the proper awareness and some precautionary measures, we can limit our risk of causing a fire or prevent a small fire from becoming a bigger one. 

Why Is Fire Safety So Important? 

As you might imagine, the most common reason for apartment fires is cooking. People either leave their stove or oven on unattended while they are cooking or they are careless about turning off the burners when they are finished. Grease fires are also common. When grease splatters on clothing or other objects, it can easily catch fire and cause injury and fire damage. Approximately 50% of residential building fires are caused by cooking-related accidents. 

Another common reason for fires is heating equipment that malfunctions. You may not see the fire in your furnace, water heater, or dryer, but it’s there. If you use space heaters, make sure there is at least three feet of clearance around them from other objects, and turn them off when you leave or go to sleep. Meadows Crossing does not permit the use of space heaters because they can be a fire hazard. 

Electrical malfunctions can also cause fires. Make sure to replace appliances with frayed power cords immediately – this is a huge fire liability! If you notice an electrical outlet, light switch or light fixture is not working properly be sure to contact your maintenance service immediately.

Dryer fires are a common cause of house fires. In fact, washing machines and dryers cause around 16,000 fires in the U.S. every year, with over 90% of them caused by dryers. The lint that the dryer collects from clothing ends up in the lint trap or in the dryer duct. This is highly flammable material, especially if it ends up next to a hot dryer coil.  At Meadows Crossing we require that residents clean the lint traps in their dryers after every use. The most important precaution to take is to never leave your washer or dryer running when no one is home.

You may not think your candle is a serious fire hazard because it’s romantic and atmospheric, but it is an open flame. If you use candles, never leave them unattended and make sure they are not located near flammable materials like curtains or around combustible items. Be sure to extinguish any candles before you fall asleep. At Meadows Crossing we do not allow the use of candles because they pose a serious fire hazard. 

How Can We Prevent Fires?

In addition to avoiding the above fire hazards, there are other actions you can take to minimize your risk of fire. The first is to check to see that your smoke detector is functioning. This should be done at least monthly as it is a piece of equipment that can malfunction. Push the test button once a month to check to see that it’s working properly. If it does not work, contact maintenance for help. If the smoke detector starts to chirp intermittently, this means the battery is low and needs to be replaced. 

If your apartment contains a fire extinguisher, you need to know where it is located within the apartment. Meadows Crossing has a fire extinguisher mounted in the kitchen cabinet beneath the sink. 

Be aware of fire risks around you. Other people may be engaging in risky activities like operating a gas grill too close to a building. If you spot anything that looks dangerous like an unattended burner or candle, put it out. If a smoke detector malfunctions, let management know. Do not let trash build up in your apartment either because trash is combustible, and therefore, a serious fire hazard. It is very dangerous to store your trash in the utility room where the furnace and water heater are located. 

Creating an escape plan in case of fire is something everyone should do. Fire preparedness is about stopping fire hazards and planning what you would do in the case of fire. You should know the fastest way out of your apartment and what you would do if that path were blocked. It’s smart to conduct fire drills with your roommates and decide where you would gather away from the building if a fire were to occur. 

If you see a fire or see or smell smoke coming from any building in our apartment community, call 911 immediately. Fires spread quickly, and so every second is critical when controlling a fire.

If you have any questions or concerns about fire safety, contact us at Meadows Crossing. We want to know what is happening in our apartment community. It’s simple enough to prevent apartment fires if we all focus on practicing proper fire safety and being aware of our surroundings. Working together, we can keep each other safe from fire. 

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10745 48th Avenue, Suite B-100
Allendale, MI 49401
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