You have a right to safety in your own apartment. Your landlord should take the proper steps to make sure you’re relatively safe at all times. They can’t prevent everything — accidents do happen — but they also can’t be negligent.
One way that negligence sometimes happens is when a landlord allows fire hazards to exist, ignoring the need for repairs and updates, and puts you in greater danger of being injured in an apartment fire — or even losing a loved one.
How can you spot these hazards?
To help protect yourself, you need to know what red flags to look for in advance. You may be able to spot them before a fire actually breaks out. Some examples include:
- Combustible items are kept too close to sources of open flames, such as stoves or furnaces
- Electrical outlets are not properly installed
- Light switches crackle or spark when used
- The cords on devices and appliances like microwaves or coffee makers are worn and frayed
- The chimney, if you have one, is never serviced up maintained
- Your smoke detectors do not work, are outdated, or always have dead batteries
- Your apartment lacks basic protection, such as fire extinguishers or smoke alarms
- The landlord makes the electrical or gas-related repairs on their own, rather than calling a licensed professional to do it
Fire hazards are very dangerous, especially in an apartment setting, where another resident could start a fire that quickly moves to your living space, without your knowledge. If you get injured, you must know how to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs.