Even if you are the most careful person in the world, fire is always a concern, when you live in an apartment. You never know when another tenant is going to start a grease fire in the kitchen or your neighbor’s cat is going to knock over a candle on a table cloth. You can hope that you will never have to deal with fire. However, the day you hear the alarm in the middle of the night or the sirens screaming outside your window you will be grateful that you took the time to fireproof your apartment.
Choose Fire-resistant Walls
If you have not moved yet, you might want to find an apartment with fire-resistant walls. These walls have gypsum in the sheetrock inside the walls. It will not guarantee that the fire won’t still spread to your apartment, but it will slow down the rate at which it does infiltrate. Most new constructions are rated with about a two-hour fire-resistance, which may be more than enough time for firefighters to get the flames under control.
Keep in mind that smoke can still get under your door though. Some apartments have fire-resistant doors, as well.
If you check your state law you will likely find that your landlord is required to provide a working smoke detector. If you do not have one make sure you tell him you need one. You should also test it periodically, and make sure you replace the batteries as needed.
You might be interested to learn that 42 percent of all fires begin in the kitchen. You probably already know not to leave anything unattended on the stove. However, you also have to be mindful of leaving pot holders, towels, utensils, etc., on or near the stove while it is on.
An emergency fire ladder is one of the best investments you will ever make. This will allow you to safely get to the ground from a second or third story. You may be saying that this will do you no good because you live on the 10th floor, right? Well, if the fire is on your floor you could at least get to a lower balcony to get out, if you have to.
Everyone should have a small fire extinguisher. Grainger even makes Fire Extinguishing Spray that could be all you need to prevent a small fire from turning into a tragedy.
Every person should have a fireproof safe to keep important items in. Even if you do not have expensive jewelry or a handgun, you can use it for birth and marriage certificates, passports, loan documents, vehicle title, extended hard drives.
Sheets and Water
In the closet of very bedroom you should put a small pail, jug of water, and a cheap sheet. If you wake up in the middle of the night and you need to either get out the front door or get a child from another room to go out the window with the ladder, this will come in handy. Pour the water into the pail, add the sheet so it is soaked and wrap it around you. It is less likely to ignite than dry clothing.