We had always hoped that this didn’t need to be said, but after an apartment fire in Litiz, PA (Warwick Township, Lancaster County), it seems that it’s necessary to make the following point:
Smokers, please ensure that your smoking materials are put out. Every. Single. Time.
Even if you use an appropriate container to discard the cigarette or tobacco, please ensure that it is no longer burning. Pennsylvania Renters Insurance is there to protect from unexpected losses, it’s a shame for your neighbors to need to make a claim for something that could so easily be prevented.
We’re not here to judge smokers, or to suggest that you quit. Some of our top employees are smokers, and we believe that appropriate breaks at work are vital to productivity – those breaks to refresh the brain may well be why our employees who smoke are such vital parts of our organization. Smoking where permitted is your prerogative. Quite frankly, we don’t sell life insurance so your choices are none of our business, as long as they only affect you.
It’s when your neighbors need to make a claim on their Pennsylvania Renters Insurance that there’s a problem. This apartment fire in Litiz is only one of many. On roughly a daily basis, we see at least one story about an apartment fire started by discarded smoking materials. Many days, we find several stories like this. In this case, tobacco from a pipe appears to have been discarded while still hot, leading to the blaze. Many people will be making claims on their PA renters insurance as a result of this incident.
No one was injured, but the damage is in the neighborhood of two million dollars. That breaks down to roughly $1.5MM in damage to the structure and $500,000 in damage to the contents and personal property of residents. It’s fortunate that no one was trapped inside, and that’s partially due to the early evening time of the fire. Most people were still on their way home from work.
Apartment fires caused by discarded smoking materials are second only to apartment fires caused by walking away from something you left on the stove. In both cases, once the fire gets started it’s incredibly difficult to put out. The person who is alleged to have been responsible for the fire in Lancaster County was injured trying to put it out, before he gave up and called the fire department.
With that in mind, here are some apartment fire prevention tips that everyone can use:
- Put out your smoking materials. It’s not out until it’s cold and out.
- Never walk away from your stove or oven. Not for one second.
- Never allow things to sit on or near the stove, and never store things in the oven. Many people store cereal boxes and other things near the stove, and all you’d have to do is knock it onto a burner or have a grease fire get a little too large.
- Check every extension cord in your home to make sure it’s fully plugged in and in good condition. This should be done when you change your clocks and smoke detector batteries twice a year.
- Make sure all residents of your apartment know how to get out, and that property should not be a concern in a fire situation.
Because you can’t predict the actions of neighbors, it’s also important to have coverage for your personal property. Renters insurance is affordable and easy to get. You can get covered in just sixty seconds with Effective Coverage. Just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need PA renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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