A house fire can be scary at minimum. In worst-case scenarios, they can be deadly. That's why people work hard to keep their household fire risks low. If you live in a rental home, then you still have a duty to protect yourself in these cases. Consider a few of the steps you can take to protect your rental home from fire risks.
1. Be Careful When Burning Candles
Burning candles always poses a fire risk. In fact, some rental properties even forbid tenants from doing this. If you do burn candles, always keep them away from flammable items like furniture or paper products. Consider placing a glass or wire shield around the flame.
2. Keep Heaters And Flammable Items Separate
Whether you use a space heater, radiator, fireplace or central HVAC, do so responsibly. Don’t place flammable items too close to these items. If you notice sparks, smoke or strange odors, immediately shut down the system. Call your landlord to make repairs in this situation.
3. Don't Overload Wall Sockets
While it is fine to use a surge protector or outlet extender in most electrical outlets, outlets still have a limit on how many appliances they can support. Therefore, only plug in the number of items that the system can hold.
If you notice sparks or malfunctions, unplug all items from the sockets. Use socket covers to close sockets that you are not using. Additionally, when changing light bulbs, only use bulbs with wattage that a light can support.
4. Test Your Alarm System
Your rental home might have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed. Test these items regularly and change the batteries at least every six months or as soon as they get low.
5. Consider A Smart Home System
Some fire alarms work with smart home systems. Others can send a notification from your phone and call the authorities when they detect the sound of an alarm.
6. Clean Regularly
A home that you haven't cleaned could be a tinderbox for fires to easily spread. Regular cleanings are healthy safety precautions.
The Benefit Of Renters Insurance For Fire Damage
If you have renters insurance, then your policy might be able to help you cover the costs of a fire.
- If the fire is deemed your fault, then your liability coverage can pay for damage to the home itself. This is the property of the landlord, and you might have a duty to compensate them.
- Possessions insurance will pay for damage to your personal belongings.
- After the fire, you might have to temporarily move out. Coverage for additional living expenses can cover costs that might arise.
Always ask your landlord if they require you to purchase certain renters insurance. They can tell you any coverage to obtain to keep yourself safe from fires.
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