Image via Delta Fire

Prevention is everything. It is important to do whatever it takes to prevent a fire. Taking all necessary prevention steps may be tedious at times, but you cannot put a price on your safety and that of your residence and neighbours. Guard all flammable materials, such as candles, incense and cigarettes. Watch for frayed wires, overloaded power bars and other electrical hazards.

Keep everything up-to-date. Make sure that your fire detection system is up-to-date, fully functional (all batteries in check) and fully operational. There should be a fire detection system in your bedroom and every floor of your apartment.

Have an escape plan. Part of being prepared is having a plan in case a fire does occur and you need to make a quick and safe exit.  This will also help you to remain calm, avoid panicking and keep a clear mind when dealing with this situation. Map out an evacuation route and practice it once or twice if you want to. In addition, learn your building's evacuation plan and set a meeting place with your family should a fire occur.

Keep exits clear. Don't block fire exits, doorways or stairways.

Get familiar. Familiarize yourself with where the fire alarms in your building are located, as well as how to use them.

Be aware of cause. The majority of fires can be avoided, and it's best to know what could potentially cause a fire. The biggest causes of apartment fires are: cooking/kitchen appliances, heating equipment (space heaters), smoking materials and children playing with fire. Keep an eye on all of these things, both when in use and when not in use, to ensure safety.