Firefighters educate students on rental safety

Manhattan firefighters Aleksey Akoyev and Brooke Harshaw came to the K-State Student Union on Nov. 15, 2016, to educate students on what to look for when renting. (Lameese Madi | The Collegian)

The firefighters of the Manhattan Fire Department took it upon themselves to come to the K-State Student Union and offer information regarding safety and awareness to students who rent.

Firefighters Brooke Harshaw, graduate student in agricultural education and communication, and Aleksey Akoyev, K-State alum, came to educate students on what to look for when renting.

When finding a new place, Akoyev said to make sure the apartment has adequate outlets and that they are in good working order. Harshaw said this is important in prevention of electrical fires and for the safety of any person looking to rent.

They also highly suggested when renting a basement apartment, to make sure it has an egress window in case of an emergency, which will provide a good escape route.

Harshaw also said it is to the renter’s benefit to check and walk through the space they are renting. It is all too common to find windows that are glued or painted shut, which he said can be dangerous in the long run.

Pamphlets were handed out with information about what to look for when apartment hunting. The information advised potential renters to make sure the apartment has adequate heating and air conditioning as well as working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Akoyev informed students of the importance of checking their smoke detectors. He said it is important to make sure the smoke detectors not only work, but also to replace batteries when needed.

On Oct. 17, a fire at Building G at the Founders Hill apartment complex displaced 91 people, including students. The loss of the building was estimated to be valued at $3.5 million. Another $500,000 was estimated in loss to contents of the building.

In light of the recent event, Harshaw also stressed the importance of getting renters insurance.

“(It’s) cheap and a convenient means of insuring that property will be replaced,” Harshaw said. “Any insurance company has it such as Allstate and Geico.”

The pamphlet also said the landlord’s insurance does not cover the renter’s property and that in case of disasters, personal belongings will be replaced at the renter’s personal expense. Harshaw said is important to get renters insurance to be certain that belongings are insured in case of emergencies.

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