Condo Fires In The Past 90 Days

guest blog by Nila Ridings
The new year is not off to a good start for Ewing Township, Dallas, Branson, and Boulder.  Condo fires have left them with injured firefighters, displaced residents, and causes unknown. 
It is time to discuss fire safety in your home, condo, townhouse, or any other abode.
1 ) Do you own fire extinguishers?
2 ) Do you know how to use them? 
3 ) Are they stored with fast/easy access? 
4 ) Have they been checked by you or professionals? (see the video in the link below)
5 ) Do you have working smoke alarms with good batteries?  Are they tested monthly? 
6 ) When house guests visit do you show them where the fire extinguisher nearest their room is located?
7 ) Do you move the BBQ grill away from flammable surfaces and keep an extinguisher nearby?  (see link below for helpful hints)
8 ) When you stay in hotels do you make a note of where the fire alarm is and how many doors you are from the stairwell exit?
9 ) Do you know to NEVER throw water on a grease fire?  Use flour, baking soda, or smother the fire with a towel. 
People who do not have a fire extinguisher or know how to use one panic at the sight of smoke or flames.  It’s best to know how to fight the fire than to run around screaming.  Or grab your cell phone and start filming as some of these condo residents have done.
Many local fire departments will come out and change smoke detector batteries for you.  Check with yours if you need some help.
Last but not least, the link below offers information on buying an insurance policy for your condo.  There is a difference between condo and homeowners insurance policies.
In attached housing we can quickly become victims if our neighbors lack concern for safety.  Who knows what chemicals they may be storing?  Or how often they fall asleep with a lit cigarette.  Which ones leave their laptop computer on their bed all day which can cause the battery to ignite?  Lest we forget the ones that have saved newspapers and magazines since 1962 and then stack them to the ceiling.
With all this risk for fire it would make sense that sprinkler systems should have been mandatory to obtain building permits!  Oh wait…THAT would have taken money out of the developers’ pockets and raised the sales cost on the units.  
Money versus Safety.   Money always wins.

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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