The temperatures are dropping in Florida and apartment fires are a growing concern for renters. During the colder months of the year, tenants are more likely to engage in risky behaviors to warm their homes. These actions alone are not responsible for the number of injuries and deaths that occur from residential fires each year. However, they are a major contributor.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every 63 seconds one building fire is reported. In 2015, the number of structure fires increased by 1.5 percent from 2014. There was a total of 501,500 fires for the year. Residential fires claimed 78 percent of its victims, making home fires the most lethal type fire situation.

There are many factors that cause residential fires. Improper use of cooking equipment, appliances, candles and malfunctioning heaters are a few. Electrical fires not as common because of improved standards in building codes regulations. However, when tenants and property owners fail to regularly inspect and use extension and electrical cords and outlets properly, fire is a likely outcome.

Half of all apartment fires are caused by cooking, states P3 Insurance Services. Many tenants are not informed on how to properly put out stovetop fires. For example, when grease fires occur, they may resort to using water as an extinguisher which can cause the flames to spread, making the problem worse. Property owners should invest in proper fire prevention equipment, such as stove top fire suppressors to reduce cooking fires.

Tenants and landlords can prevent most occurrences of apartment fires by working together. Property owners can routinely inspect their buildings for deficiencies, improve them and install fire prevention and detection equipment like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and stovetop suppressors. Tenants can become more responsible in the way they use their heating appliances, candles and cook their foods. These combined efforts can improve tenant safety and keep fires from occurring.