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Texas Department of Insurance
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August 26, 2021

Apartment hunting? Look for these safety features

Heading off to college? Starting your career in a new town? If you’re getting a new place for the first time, check out our new video for fire safety tips from the Texas State Fire Marshal.

Look for sprinkler systems and fire alarms. The best systems have voices, not beeping, because people wake up faster to a voice than a noise. And always check the evacuation plan.

The most common causes of apartment fires can all be avoided—here’s how:

  • Don’t cook when you’re tired—or leave a cooking fire unattended.
  • Don’t overload power outlets with chargers and electronics.
  • Avoid candles, or at least keep combustibles away from them. Better yet, get artificial candles that flicker like a flame.
  • Don’t put anything within three feet of a space heater.
  • If you have a clothes dryer, clean the lint out of the vent.

Make sure your new place has smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the manufacturing date on the back of each one. Have your landlord replace any that are 10 years old.

Think about fire safety when you go out, too. Look for alternative exits at football games, concerts, clubs, stores, and restaurants. In an emergency, most people crowd the front door, so make sure you know other ways out. If any place gets too crowded, leave.

And remember, your landlord’s insurance only covers the building. You need renters insurance to cover your things inside it. For more information, visit or call 800-252-3439.

We’ve also got tips on how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning at home.