Emergency access routes
Emergency access routes of the properties must always be kept clear to ensure that emergency vehicles can use them. Emergency access routes must not be blocked by parking a car on them. Fire engines and ambulances must be able to get to their destinations without delay and without having to navigate obstacles.
Fire and carbon monoxide alarms
Common sense and the law both require residents to have a sufficient number of fire alarms fitted in their home, and to ensure that they are in good working order. The regulations state that there must be at least one fire alarm for every 60 square metres of the apartment. So, in practical terms, a 61 square metre apartment must have at least two alarms.
In addition to fire alarms, homes should also be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is an odourless, tasteless, colourless, and poisonous gas that we, as humans, cannot detect. As carbon monoxide is only slightly lighter than air, special care should be taken over the positioning of the alarm, because carbon monoxide will not necessarily rise straight to the ceiling. A carbon monoxide detector is not a sufficient replacement for a fire alarm, but it is a worthwhile addition to improve safety in the home.
Without working batteries, both a fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector are useless. Moreover, they will not last forever, and should be replaced at least once every ten years. It is always the resident’s obligation to ensure that the apartment has functional alarms and to replace the battery or entire device when necessary. One good way to remember to maintain fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is to always check/change their batteries on the 112 Day on 11 February.
Taking extra care when dealing with fire is the most important thing you can do to prevent a fire. For this reason, you should always keep an eye on any naked flames, making sure that candles are placed on a non-flammable surface and not left unattended. You must also make sure that pets or small children, for example, cannot accidentally knock over candles or tealights, and that the draught from a window cannot blow curtains into the flame.
Any use of open fires on the balcony are prohibited. This means that candles, outdoor candles, and barbeques are not permitted on balconies. In particular, outdoor candles require plenty of empty space around them due to pool fire and wind risks. This is why outdoor candles are very dangerous when placed near buildings and combustible materials.