Renters: 6 Autumn Safety Tips

With the heat of summer cooling off, your thoughts may turn to enjoying the crisp, autumn air and watching the leaves change into vibrant colors. As you prepare to get cozy in your apartment and begin making holiday plans, here are six renter-friendly safety tips to consider.

1. Fight Off Potential Germs

As you start to spend more time indoors than out, you may want to consider how to help keep cold and flu germs at bay. As a renter, you may be exposed to germs from other residents who are also using common areas like the gym or laundry room. Be sure to wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer after being in high-traffic areas, says Apartment Guide.

You can also prepare your medicine cabinet for cold and flu season by replacing any expired pain relievers or throat lozenges, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Don’t forget to also stock up on tissues, chicken noodle soup, crackers, and other essentials. If you do happen to get sick, you’ll be glad you thought ahead and had the supplies on hand.

2. Check the Heat

Before you switch on your heat, you may want to consider having your landlord check the furnace and change your air filters that may have become clogged with dust and pollen since the last time you turned it on. You may also request that your landlord repair any window or door defects that could cause drafts, such as loose caulking or worn down weather stripping.

3. Reduce the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Each year, around 10,000 people become sick from carbon monoxide (CO) exposure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Pennsylvania, landlords must install carbon monoxide detectors in any rental unit that has an attached garage, fossil fuel-burning heater or appliance, or fireplace. If you live somewhere that doesn’t have a similar law in place, you may want to consider installing a CO alarm yourself. Don’t forget to test the alarm at least once a month, says the National Fire Protection Association.

4.  Make Fire Prevention a Priority

Fires can be a constant threat for apartment dwellers. Remember to have your landlord change the batteries in your smoke detector if it is not working. It is also a good idea to replace a smoke detector every 10 years, says the National Fire Protection Association. Check the manufacturer date on the back of your smoke detector and contact your landlord if you have any concerns. You may also want to consider keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen as an extra precaution, says the U.S. Fire Administration.

5. Celebrate Halloween Safely

If you’re heading out to a Halloween party, lock your apartment even if you’re celebrating down the hall at a neighbor’s place. Remember to never allow strangers into your apartment. Also, you may want to avoid sharing your Halloween plans on social media to avoid telling potential thieves that you will be out. It’s also a good idea to secure your pets to help keep them from scaring trick-or-treaters or getting out accidentally.

6.  Handle Food Safely

When the holidays begin to approach, food often takes center stage in gatherings and celebrations. Help prevent foodborne illnesses by washing your hands when handling food and try to avoid cross-contamination when cutting raw meat or fish, says Remember to always thoroughly cook food and refrigerate it promptly.

Taking a few simple actions now may help ensure you have time to relax and enjoy the new season.