No matter the emergency, knowledge is key to handle any situation, including a fire. Now things are bit different when it comes to apartment fires (vs. your own house), so preventing and dealing with the aftermath of a fire are handled a bit differently.
Here are some crucial steps to take when dealing with an apartment fire.
Before An Apartment Fire
- Make sure there are fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in the appropriate areas and that they are functioning properly. You should check your smoke detectors every month and replace the batteries twice a year.
- Create a fire escape plan.
- Make sure you know where the nearest fire escapes are and create alternate escape plans in case areas are blocked off due to a fire.
- In the case of damages, the landlord is responsible for what happens to the apartment home but not your actual belongings, so if you want to have those covered make sure to get renter’s insurance.
- Make sure you have an inventory of what you own. You should have a written list, photos or video recording of what is in the home.
During An Apartment Fire
- If the fire starts in your apartment or you see a fire nearby, pull the nearest fire alarm.
- If you hear a fire alarm, do not hesitate and leave the area. Follow your plan.
- Only fight a fire if it is small, contained and not releasing toxic fumes.
- In case of a kitchen fire where food or oil catches fire, cover it with flour to starve it of oxygen. In all other cases, use a fire extinguisher, if possible.
- Even if it seems safe, do not go back unless you are told it is.
After An Apartment Fire
- Do not go into your apartment until it is deemed safe to do so.
- Make sure you do a walkthrough of your apartment once it is safe to do so. You are responsible for your belongings and must remove them.
- Contact your renter’s insurance agent to discuss the steps to filing a claim.
- Contact your local Red Cross chapter and area nonprofits for assistance with food, housing, etc.
- Important: Make sure you know the terms to your lease and whether you are in terms to cancel it. If you’re renting, know that you may qualify for temporary housing if your apartment is deemed unlivable.
Heers Management is here for our tenants in our Phoenix apartments during all emergencies, including a fire. We not only takes care of our tenants, but also their apartment homes.
If you are looking for a new apartment home run with truly responsible management, consider taking a look at one of Heers Management’s properties.