Living in a co-op can be a rewarding and affordable experience, but you still need to make sure that you are mindful of fire hazards. Many residents live the majority of their lives in the co-op, and you want to maintain the building and your unit to the highest standards so that everyone is safe.
There are a few fire safety tips listed below that will make it easier to avoid hazards at home. Plus, you can apply these tips around the building, keep your unit in the best condition, and avoid emergencies that are quite simple to head off.
Report Suspicious Activity
You should always report suspicious activity or anything that seems off. You never know what could happen if you don’t say something. This isn’t a “gotcha” moment. This is a “I don’t want the building to catch fire” moment.
Confront the problem if you can do so safely. If not, reach out to the building maintenance team. If possible, call the supervisor or one of the maintenance technicians directly. If you cannot—while it may seem extreme—you might want to call 9-1-1.
Use Surge Protectors
Surge protectors prevent shorts from occurring. Plus, a surge protector is much safer because it will trip the circuit instead of allowing power to continue flowing. Yes, it could burn out because of a horrible surge, but it will prevent sparks from flying and stop heavy surges from destroying your electronics.
This is especially important when you are decorating for the holidays or you have an outlet where all the electronics are plugged in. You can even turn the surge protector on and off to ensure that power is only flowing when absolutely necessary.
Never leave your cooking/food unattended. Remember, you must be in control of everything when you’re cooking. Don’t walk away unless it’s an absolute emergency, and in those cases, turn off burners on the stove, turn off the oven, and shut off small appliances.
It’s better to start over when you return than to start a fire.
No Grills or Fire Pits
When you live in a co-op, you simply cannot have a grill or fire pit. The only exception is when your co-op gives you a patio or green space. Otherwise, you cannot have a grill or fire pit on a balcony. There’s no way around it. Opt for a griddle attachment for the stove and a plug-in fireplace for the living room.
Create a vacation checklist you can mark off before leaving that eliminates fire hazards. On this checklist, you might include:
- Unplugging unnecessary items
- Make sure stove and oven are off
- Turn off all non-essential lights
- Extinguish and close candles
- Move electronics away from water sources
- Use plastic covers to cap unused plugs
Taking just a few minutes to check off the Items on this list is far safer than assuming nothing will happen.
Contact The Budde Agency for More Information on Co-Op Fire Safety and Insurance
Reach out to our team for assistance with co-op insurance and fire safety tips. Remember, you aren’t completely in control of your building, but there’s quite a lot you can do to make your co-op—and indeed your unit—safer.