3 Warning Devices Every Apartment Needs


According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), about half of home fire deaths result when people are sleeping from 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.  This year’s NFPA campaign, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, suggests the need for smoke alarms in every bedroom.

Structure fires – residential and commercial – are serious business in the U.S. They can destroy lives and cost billions in damage annually. Last year, structure fires caused $11.6 billion in property losses and claimed 3,275 civilian lives, according to NFPA. Of large-loss fires, those that cause $10 million or more in damages, 14 percent were residential.

Warning Devices

Smoke alarms and other warning devices can help apartments reduce claims by preventing fire disasters that cost property damage and endanger lives. Hard-wired or wireless devices that detect carbon monoxide and combustible gas offer added protection for residents and the property. With today’s technology, some devices are wi-fi-enabled and can send alerts and notifications to smart phones.

Here are three warning devices that each apartment should not be without:

Smoke detectors

The most common fire protection device, smoke alarms cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire when they are operable and installed in the right places. NFPA research shows that most U.S. homes have at least one, but two-thirds of home fire deaths result from blazes in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

The cuddly spokesdog for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) revealed some startling information, that most folks are unsure about the best places to install the fire protection devices.

While garages, kitchens and hallways were popular choices, many failed to suggest bedrooms.

NFPA recommends installing a smoke alarm on every level of the home, in bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas. Make sure smoke detectors have fresh batteries and are tested monthly. Change smoke alarms every 10 years from the date of manufacture.

Fire Detectors - Fire Safety

Carbon monoxide alarms

November through February is when most carbon monoxide poisoning occurs in the U.S. According to NFPA, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 80,000 non-fire carbon monoxide (CO) incidents in 2010. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 1999-2010, an average of 430 people were killed by unintentional CO poisoning per year.

Carbon monoxide is created when fuel – usually used for cooking and heating devices – burns incompletely. The gas is invisible, odorless and colorless and can be detected by a carbon monoxide alarm that is readily available and easy to install. Many smoke detectors also have a carbon monoxide sensor.

Combustible gas detectors

Propane and natural gas detectors sound an alarm if gases are sensed in the air. Detectors are recommended in apartments or other areas of the property where natural gas or propane is used for cooking, heating or water heating. Consider installing one or more gas detectors in a home, especially if there are appliances in areas where the smell of gas might not be detected quickly.

Detectors emit sounds or flash a light when natural gas or propane is present. Some can hook into home security systems.

Installing and maintaining these devices in your apartments will help residents sleep better at night, protect your assets and keep ol’ Sparky’s tail a wagging.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

author photo two

Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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