Dangerous situations can be avoided by being careful and proactive.
A fire detector is mainly for the safety of you and your neighbours, but installing a fire detector is also a legal requirement. The person who occupies the apartment is responsible for obtaining a fire detector.
The fire detector should be installed on the ceiling of the hallway outside the bedroom. You must have at least two fire detectors for each 60 square metres of floor space or part thereof. For example, a 65-square-metre apartment must have at least two fire detectors. In a home that is on two floors, you need a fire detector on both floors. Remember to replace the batteries in fire detectors yearly. Do not use a fire detector that is more than 10 years old.
The law also requires that the person who occupies a home must keep the fire detectors in working condition. The condition of fire detectors should be inspected monthly to ensure that they work properly and will warn you of a fire. A fire blanket is also a highly recommended fire extinguishing tool. You should have one at hand in the kitchen and other areas that have a high risk of fire.
Fire detectors come pre-installed in the apartments of new residential buildings. The apartments in buildings completed in 2008 or later have fixed fire detectors that are connected to the electrical network. If your apartment has a fixed fire detector, you do not need to get a fire detector of your own. The detector must not be removed or covered, and you must inspect its condition monthly by pushing the testing button. If the fire detector makes a sound, you know it is working correctly. If the device does not emit the test sound, you need to contact the maintenance company and submit a fault report.
No open fires, including small candles, should be left unsupervised. Remind children of the danger involved with playing with matches. You can practice how to light a fire with children, but matches and lighters should be kept out of their reach. Do not keep combustible substances in your apartment.
Textiles, furniture cushions and home electronics are inflammable and they burn quickly. A fire that starts on the cooker in the kitchen can easily spread into the extractor hood and the duct above it. When you cook, keep in mind that overheated grease can easily catch fire. Grease fires must be put out by placing on a metal lid, rug or fire blanket on the fire.
Keep in mind that having home insurance of your own is the only way you will get compensated for damaged or lost property in the event of a fire, break-in or accident.
Two out of three accidents happen at home. Being in a rush and, unfortunately, alcohol consumption cause many unnecessary accidents at home. The most common accidents at home include falling, slipping and stumbling.
If necessary, you can install grab bars, a shower seat or a raised toilet seat to improve the safety of the apartment, especially for elderly residents. Contact your property manager if you are planning these types of alterations.
Falls involving children and pets can be prevented by using the safety latches on windows and keeping the balcony door closed. Burns suffered by young children can be avoided by having tip-over protection for the cooker and a child lock for the oven door.
Anticipate dangerous situations
- Get a fire detector for your apartment.
- Learn how to extinguish small fires correctly.
- Do not leave any open fires unattended, including candles.
- Even an outdoor candle on your balcony or a tealight can start a fire.
- Close your doors and windows – including the balcony – when you leave the apartment.
- Use the safety latches on your windows.
- In winter, keep the area in front of the door clear of ice and apply grit to the area when necessary.
Families with children need to be particularly careful
- Keep medicines in locked cabinets, but leave adhesive bandages and other dressing materials within everyone’s reach.
- Take expired or unused medicines to the pharmacy.
- Make sure the power sockets are equipped with outlet covers.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- Keep alcohol and tobacco products out of the reach of children.
- Many ordinary household plants and garden plants can be toxic when consumed.
- Keep detergents, chemicals and hazardous waste in a locked cleaning cabinet.
- Provide children with safe areas to play outdoors.
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