The young couple was just settling into their new life. Their two bedroom apartment was looking more and more like home. The mementos from their wedding were proudly displayed. They had successfully found places for their clothing and other belongings in the two large bedroom closets. As their time in the third floor apartment progressed they began to make some very thoughtful furniture purchases. They had been keeping their eyes open for quality furnishings that they planned to become part of their fist house that they planned to purchase in the next 18 to 24 months. By selecting a slightly older apartment building they were able to rent a home that had more square space than some of the newer models. The less expensive rent would allow them to continue to grow their savings account to be used for their future home purchase.
On that Tuesday fateful morning, the couple set off for work. She went to her middle school teaching job; he went to his job at the insurance company. It looked to be like the start of any other week. Good jobs, decent pay, as always, looking forward to the weekend.
She was in the middle of the morning geometry lesson when she received the phone call from the office. The secretary’s message indicated that she needed to check her cell phone. Anticipating that something was not right, she asked her teaching partner to take over the class while she went out to the hall.
Treasured Possessions Can be Destroyed Within Minutes
Within the next few seconds, everything changed.
Seeing that she had several missed phone calls from her husband, she quickly called him back and received the devastating news. There had been an apartment fire. It had started in the unit next to theirs, had quickly spread, and although he was at the apartment parking lot and was not allowed to go in, it was clear that their apartment was a complete loss.
The wedding mementos. The carefully selected and purchased pieces of furniture. Their clothing. And likely, countless other items that it would take them months to realize that they had lost. Although they were obviously thankful that no one had been injured, it was devastating to know that the renter in the apartment where the fire had started did not even have a fire extinguisher to put out the small fire that started on her deck. A burning cigarette had smoldered until it melted through a planter and the fire was quickly out of hand, leaping from one balcony to the next. Opened windows because of the nice weather invited the flames inside and the apartment sprinkler system could not keep up as the flames grew.
Fire Extinguisher Inspections and Other Precautions Can Prevent Loss of Life and Property
Safety inspections and fire extinguisher inspections indicate that an extinguisher should be located no more than 30 feet from any cooking area. The smartest homeowners and apartment renters, however, take even more precaution. The best fire protection advice, for example, lists a number of other places where it is strategic to have extra extinguishers:
- Master bedrooms
- Laundry room
- Garage or workshop
- Grill and patio areas
- Every occupied bedroom
- Recreational vehicles
In addition to the proper placement of fire extinguishers, it is also advised that home owners and renters use fire extinguisher inspections services and fire extinguisher recharge stations once a year to make sure that their extinguishers are in proper working order. A fire extinguisher service schedule may seem like overkill, but few things are more important than protecting your family and property from fire.
Studies indicate that of more than 2,000 fire incidents, a portable fire extinguisher had successfully extinguished more than 80% of those fires. Following proper fire extinguisher servicing protocol will help make sure that the extinguisher you have will work when you need it.
What Are You Doing to Protect Your Family?
Fire extinguisher inspections, fire drills, and evacuation plans can help keep your family save in the event of an emergency. While apartment buildings may be more susceptible to damage to multiple units, every individual home owner should take fire safety precautions. The time you take to properly install extinguishers in your home, office, and recreational vehicle, will come in handy in the event that your family faces a fire event.