According to the law there must be a fire alarm in every apartment.
The 2010 law states that there must be at least one fire alarm device per each 60 square metres of the apartment. It is your responsibility to ensure that there is a working fire alarm in the apartment. You should check your fire alarm every month to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
If the landlord has not installed a fire alarm in the apartment, the tenant must do so. In practice, all properties completed since 2009 have smoke detectors provided by Hoas.
Please keep in mind these few things regarding the installation and maintenance of a fire alarm/smoke detector.
- Mount the smoke detector preferably in the middle of the ceiling (if the roof is slanted, mount the smoke detector at the highest point).
- Please do not place the smoke detector in a corner or near a wall – there must be at least 50 centimetres between the smoke detector and the wall. If you install the smoke detector on the wall, it should be at least 15 centimetres from the ceiling. There is stagnant air where the ceiling and wall meet, which can affect the operation of the detector.
- Please do not install the smoke detector near air conditioning vents or a window that is opened for ventilation.
- Please do not place the smoke detector in the bathroom, as moisture may cause false alarms. Smoke detectors located in the kitchen can easily give false alarms.
- Please do not place the smoke detector near a fluorescent tube.
- There must be one smoke detector for each 60 square metres of dwelling.
- Test your smoke detector regularly.
- If the smoke detectors beeps regularly, this indicates that the batteries are running low. This is your cue to change the batteries.
Some Hoas buildings have a centralised fire alarm system installed, which means that individual tenants do not need to buy their own fire alarms. These systems are most often found in newly built properties. The testing of this system is also the tenant’s responsibility.
The alarm goes directly to the emergency response centre or Securitas, depending on the property. Even if the alarm is false, the fire and rescue services or Securitas always arrive to check the situation. The alarm will sound until the fire and rescue department or Securitas has cancelled it. Therefore, please do not tear the fire alarm off or damage it in any way if it sounds an alarm.
If your apartment does have a centralised fire alarm system installed, please contact Hoas if there is a problem. If you break the system, for example by removing the alarm or by covering it, you will be charged for the resulting maintenance visit. If you repeatedly cause unnecessary fire alarms with your actions, such as burning your food, you will also be charged for these visits.
Some of Hoas’ properties have smoke detectors that are connected to the mains. These smoke detectors sound an alarm only in the apartment, and the alarm is not automatically transmitted anywhere else.
If the alarm fails and you cannot stop it by airing the room, for instance, please contact Hoas’ maintenance department (weekdays 9 am-4 pm) or the emergency call-out unit (if the Hoas service centre is closed) on 020 491 2720.
Fire alarm connected to the mains must not be taken out or broken.
Residents are responsible for testing the smoke detectors regularly. Hoas is responsible for maintaining the fire alarm system. Therefore, if the equipment fails, please report this to Hoas. If the smoke detector is disconnected or broken, the costs can be charged to the tenant.
The Rescue Act prohibits storage of any items in passageways. Nothing can be stored there that could obstruct exits. This concerns stairways, basements and attics. Stored items can obstruct exits and get in the way of fire fighters in a rescue situation.
You should also report any extra items stored in the stairways to Hoas as soon as possible. For example, “recycling corners” set up in stairways are in violation of the Rescue Act and must be removed immediately.
Store your pram in the proper storage space, not in the stairway. If any of your neighbours break the rules by keeping their pram in the stairway, please let Hoas know.
The materials used in prams create a thick smoke which spreads upwards in the stairwell, potentially preventing residents from exiting the building. Helsinki Rescue Department conducted a test which showed that a burning pram produced enough smoke to fill the stairwell of a four-storey apartment block in less than two minutes.
Maintenance removes items from the property’s common areas, if they do not belong there. Furniture and other belongings that are left or abandoned in the staircases or elsewhere will be removed without any warning.
Maintenance company may remove prams from the stairways as fire load, if the tenant does not move the pram to appropriate storage space despite the maintenance’s requests.
It is not allowed to store advertisements or post carts in the stairway. These can be removed without any separate warning.
The doormat belongs inside the apartment. If tenants keep their doormat outside their apartment in the stairway, maintenance may remove them.
If you notice fire load in your property, please inform Hoas.
In an emergency, call 112. Read more instructions from Helsinki Rescue Department website
The rescue plan for your property
A rescue plan is required by law for any residential building with at least three apartments. The rescue plan details how you should act in various dangerous or threatening situations. The rescue plan takes into account any specific features of the property, as it is always drawn up individually for each property. This is why there are many different rescue plans. Check out the rescue plan for your property in the general information for residents. You can view the general information by entering your address in Hoas’ apartments on the website.