How to Avoid Apartment Fires

The National Fire Protection Association released their most recent “Home Fires involving Cooking Equipment” report.  Roughly 40% of all residential fire is caused by cooking.  Electric ranges have a higher risk of fire and losses over those with gas ranges, and over half of the non-fatal fires happened from the victims trying to fight the fire themselves.  By far the number one reason for tenant caused fire damage is in one form or another… distraction.  In fact distraction contributes to about 86% of all tenant caused fire.  With the busy, multi-tasking world we live in it would be impossible to not get distracted enough to leave a burner on, not notice that a rag was left too close to a burner, a candle not put out before bed or a flare up from a barbecue.

There is no magic solution to avoiding fires and the resulting water and smoke damage.  One suggestion is to leave the stove light on anytime the stove/oven are on and don’t shut that light off until you have checked that the stove is off.  Not very effect.  The best method is to install a device that turns the stove off when the smoke alarm sounds.  The reason this is so much more effective is that smoke always precedes flame and this stops the fire before it ever breaks out.   These devices don’t cost, don’t cause a mess, and have no shelf life.  There’s a new company out there that is having fantastic results with avoiding apartment fires this way.  You can find more information about them at

If you’re a tenant you are technically held accountable for the damage.  If you’re the landlord your property insurance will more than likely cover the damage… which then raises your premiums.  Why should the landlord have to suffer and pay for the tenants’ liability?  The old way of solving this issue is to force the residents to purchase a renters policy, then show proof to the landlord that coverage is in place.  This definitely solves one problem and in one fail swoop creates another one, time and effort for the landlord and their leasing agents.

The new solution is for the landlord to purchase a policy that gives them the same coverage and protection as renters insurance, and recover the cost through the rent.  They no longer need to require renters insurance and signing residences up on a program.  Tracking and monitoring on a daily basis also go away.  Rather than partial coverage because some residents cancel the policy, they are guaranteed coverage as the residents can’t cancel the policy.

Anything you do to avoid fire risk is a good thing.  And protecting yourself before the tragedy should help you sleep at night knowing your assets are protected.

Rick Lindsey

President, CEO and Chairman