About 13% of people between ages 18 and 24 smoke cigarettes today, while about 1/3 of college students use tobacco in some way. However, many colleges have pushed to become tobacco-free campuses in recent years, with roughly 2,200 being smoke-free. That means many students who smoke do so off campus. If you are a smoker, then you might find that it’s permissible to smoke in your college apartment. However, you must realize that by doing so, you face certain fire risks. Therefore, consider just a few of the steps that you need to take to keep yourself safe if you choose to smoke in your apartment.
The Risk of Fires Caused By Tobacco Products
In the U.S. each year, cigarettes alone account for 20% of the ignition sources in fires. Furthermore, fires caused by cigarettes cause 1,000 deaths and 3,000 injuries each year. Fifty-six percent of residential fires that resulted in fatalities were caused by smoking.
What those statistics should say to you is that if you choose to smoke in your apartment or home, you need to be careful. Just because you think you have extinguished a cigarette doesn’t mean you have eliminated the risks of a fire occurring. Cigarettes can smolder for hours, and if left in the right conditions, they could easily cause a devastating blaze.
On one hand, if you have renters insurance on the property, then you might be able to get compensation for items damaged by a smoking-related fire. However, if a fire gets out of hand, and you’re lucky enough to get out, then you could be held responsible for the losses of others. Smoking is a huge liability risk, particularly in apartment homes. That’s why many insurers charge policyholders who smoke a higher premium.
Preventing Smoke-Related Fires in College Apartments
If you smoke in your apartment, be aware of ways to protect yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you smoke while studying or while socializing, you must take responsibility for your own safety.
- If possible, smoke outside, and fully extinguish the cigarette in sand or gravel. Do not attempt to dispose of it in grass or foliage, as this is flammable.
- Don’t let used cigarettes accumulate in ashtrays. Empty these daily.
- Never smoke around stoves or heaters.
- Be extremely careful when smoking near furniture, curtains or bedding. Don’t flick ashes onto the furniture. Instead, put them in an ashtray.
- Fully extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them in a trash can. Never start another cigarette without fully extinguishing the other one.
- Make sure your apartment is well-equipped with a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm.
If you plan to have guests in your apartment who smoke, remind them to smoke outside, or to use ashtrays. Never let ashes accumulate anywhere in the property.
Also Read: Why You Need an Independent Agent