How to Prepare for a Fire Inspection
By Jacob Lundquist
Fire inspections can happen at any time, but they’re done for the tenant’s safety. It’s important that you know the requirements necessary to pass inspection, because these are built to protect you and your valuables. Though you might not feel that this is your job, it’s important to keep you and your loved ones safe from harm in any way possible. Doing your part will make your life way easier!
Your property managers will generally get a notice in advance, from the fire department, that an inspection will be performed; therefore, you can expect some kind of preparation period. However, you should stay up-to-date with these regulations at all times, and know where all of your safety materials are.
1. Check your fire alarm. Fire alarms will beep at you when their batteries are low—get your batteries changed whenever they start beeping, or at least twice per year.
2. Know where your safety instruments are. A fire extinguisher is almost always located, in a conspicuous location, in your laundry room. Make sure you know how and when to use them! Remember, foresight and planning are your best friends.
3. Clean your area often. This includes:
- Removing lint from dryers on a regular basis
- Removing trash on a regular basis
- Storing flammable materials safely outside of your apartment
- Following your lease guidelines for cleanliness and flammables (candles, etc.)
4. Eliminate safety hazards. See to it that nearby exit lights are working, that your hallways are clear of any obstructions, and that your balcony (if you have one) is clean. This can guarantee you a refuge in case of serious fires.
5. Ensure the usability of the hall’s exit doors, as well as elevators. Maintenance may be necessary to make the door easy to open, and the elevator smoothly running.
6. In your apartment, always have electronics safely plugged in. Try your best to use power strips and safety lights in order to eliminate the possibility for electronics-related fires. Be careful and reserved about the use of any extension cords. In case of an outlet or plug not working properly, contact your maintenance staff and have it looked at as soon as possible.
7. Safely store all flammable or combustible liquids. Do not leave anything that could be set on fire in the open. Check with your maintenance staff to find out about specific ordinances and requirements for your property or city.
8. Inspect your breaker boxes with some regularity. Confirm their proper working order, and submit a maintenance request if any problems arise. Never overload your electrical circuits, and protect yourself from any electrical wires. NEVER do any electrical work on your own; contact your professional maintenance staff and have a trained expert do it for you.