RHC News Blog

FIRE & CO SAFETY

THE SMOKE WILL KILL YOU!

For several years I have used a video from the State Fire Marshall’s Office for evacuation training at GrandView. It was a film showing the progress of a fire in a single family home that had been started by a cigarette butt in a trash can. It was stunning to watch how quickly the smoke spread throughout the house, in less than five minutes it would have been very difficult to get down the stairs and out the door. In addition to the smoke, the temperature in the house was several hundred degrees. I used that video to make a point ~ the smoke will kill you!

Even a fairly small fire can get out of hand quickly, so time is of the essence. Thus the reason for smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are one of the most affordable ways to protect property and tenants in rental units. Make sure they are located INSIDE each bedroom and then install one on each level as well. Don’t forget the basement. Read the manufacturer’s recommendations and pay attention to their advice, especially with smoke detectors around the kitchen. Detectors that are on the wall adjacent to a stove will drive everyone crazy, next thing you know it is removed and disabled.

Check the batteries every six months, then you can also make sure that they aren’t being removed or disabled. Some landlords have added statements to their lease warning tenants that disabling a smoke detector may be grounds for eviction. It may prevent the often heard complaint, “the tenants take the batteries our every time I turn around!” Detectors also have a limited useful life, there are expiration dates on the back of smoke detectors now so that they can be replaced every 5 years. If your smoke detectors don’t have a date printed on the back, they are more than 5 years old and need to be replaced.

CO detectors are another essential piece of equipment to protect tenants and landlords from an unnecessary tragedy. They should be located within 10 feet of each “room used for sleeping purposes”. Check out this website to get more details from the State Fire Marshal:

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/sfm/public-education/Pages/home-fire-safety.aspx