Every year in the United States over 400 people die in apartment fires and approximately 4,400 people are injured. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if there had been working smoke alarms in the residence.
The best defense against a fire is to:
- Prevent it from occurring
- Prepare your family on how to react and escape in case of a fire
Remember, no matter how fire-safe you are, what your neighbors do will affect you.
A significant number of fires are started by juveniles. Children who have access to matches and lighters can be a deadly combination. Learn more about youth fire intervention and parental liability / responsibility (PDF).
Many people are unaware that a landlords fire insurance policy does not cover personal possessions or temporary relocation costs, regardless of where a fire starts. A fire may not start in your apartment unit, but it may completely destroy everything you own. In addition to fire damage, your home may be untenable due to smoke and water damage, which might leave you scrambling to find a new place to live.
- "It's too expensive." For the cost of four grande mochas or three packs of cigarettes ($12-15 per month), you and your possessions can be covered by renters insurance (PDF) if damaged in the event of a fire.
- "I don't own much." Most people's belongings are often worth more than they expect. With furniture, electronics, microwave, appliances, clothing, photos, prints, glassware, silverware, sports equipment, books, and jewelry; you can easily begin to reach $20,000.
- "I don't need liability insurance." Your landlord's policy excludes liability for something that occurs in your rented residence. You could be held responsible for injury to another person or for damage to another person's property if an incident occurred within your rented residence.
Check with your insurance company for specifics about a policy to protect you and your family today.
Problems with a Landlord
If you have safety issues with your landlord, attempt to settle the issue with them first. Both Beaverton and Tigard offer a free mediation services. You may also review Oregon Landlord Tenant Law for more information.
Fire and safety concerns can be directed to Public Education Chief, Joanne Hatch by email or at 503-259-1506.