Speak to your landlord about any building safety concerns. In addition to building safety features, you can monitor your own habits to greatly reduce fire hazards. The following items are especially important to reduce the risk of a fire.
Fire Safety Concerns
Each building has unique properties and safety issues, check out the Fire Safety Checklist intended as a guide for assessing a potential rental property.
- Investigate the recommended detection features and fire escape routes.
- Inspect the appliances and all heating elements. Check electrical cores and coils. Will you need a portable heater* in the winter?
- Are there a sufficient number electrical outlets? Electrical cords can compromise fire safety if there are too many or they are improperly placed.
- If applicable, inspect the fireplace. Especially if there are fire places in several units, make sure your landlord takes responsibility for inspecting and/or scheduling each annual chimney cleaning.
- You should know if your landlord is careful to properly store necessary combustible materials outside, away from heat and people.
Personal Safety: Additional Fire Safety Tips
- Appliances like portable heaters*, electric grills, and deep fryers can be dangerous if used improperly. Read instructions carefully.
- Practice safe cooking: Do not leave your cooking unattended for any length of time. This includes food in toaster ovens and microwaves.
- Watch the use of flat irons or hair dryers to close to the detectors. Smoke or steam can set off the alarms.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. Require a trained professional investigate whenever a breaker trips.
- Ensure that extension cords are never run under rugs or across doorways.
- If you are a smoker, exercise caution. Smoking outside is best
- Know where to locate (and how to properly use) a fire extinquisher.
- Store flammables safely.
- The use of halogen lamps can be dangerous. Do not use them.
- Do not drape curtains or decorate lamps in any way.
- Do not tamper with fire safety equipment for any reason.
- Memorize and practice any published fire escape routes.
- Treat each alarm as a real fire emergency.
*Remember that kerosene heaters are illegal in any multi-unit dwelling.