Apartment living comes with its own set of risks. This is due to the fact that you live so close to so many other people. Their actions can endanger your safety, so it’s critical that you understand what you need to do to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings.
The most dangerous danger in apartment buildings is fire. It doesn’t take long for the fire to spread from one unit to the next when there are so many of them. The following recommendations are critical to your safety:
• Place smoke detectors in the kitchen, all bedrooms, the laundry room, and the hallways. They must be tested once a month, and the batteries must be replaced every six months. They won’t help you if they aren’t in working order.
• Keep fire extinguishers near the kitchen, laundry room, and outside grill.
•Create an escape strategy. This plan should include two exits, which in most cases will be the main door and either a window or a door wall. If you live on a higher floor and don’t have access to a fire escape, invest in a rope ladder for exiting through windows or a balcony. Practice your escape plan on a regular basis so that everyone in your family knows what to do in the event of a fire.
• Never use an elevator in the event of a fire.
• Never park in front of fire hydrants or in fire lanes and make sure your guests do not do so as well.
A fire isn’t the only danger in an apartment complex. You must also be aware of potential hazards no matter where you live and take precautions to avoid them.
• Purchase and install a carbon monoxide detector.
• Protect your children from falling by installing screen guards, window stops, and doorstops on your patio door.
• Keep your apartment and building numbers near the phone so that your family or babysitter can reach you in an emergency. Keep in mind that memories can fail during an emergency.
• Make sure your apartment number is prominently displayed on your door.
• Ensure that everyone in your family understands how to contact the Concern Department.
Protecting from Intruders
A large number of people enter and exit an apartment complex. Criminals rely on their anonymity. As a result, getting to know the other tenants is critical. Not only will you be better able to identify someone who does not belong, but it will also increase the likelihood that tenants will look out for one another.
• Consider organising an “apartment watch.” This is similar to a neighbourhood watch programme, but it is limited to your apartment complex. Many problems can be avoided if a group of tenants is on the lookout for suspicious behaviour.
•Install quality deadbolt locks on your doors, and on sliding doors, use a wooden rod or steel brace. One word of caution about deadbolt locks: don’t buy ones that require a key. You won’t have time to look for the key in an emergency.
• Check that your landlord has installed adequate lighting in all stairwells, hallways, and common areas such as the laundry room.
• If your building has a common entrance, ensure that the entry door locks so that only tenants can enter. Never let strangers in through that door.
If you follow these guidelines, use common sense, and keep an eye on what’s going on around you, your apartment will be a safe haven for you and your family.
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