Fire Safety Week
On average, a fire breaks out in eight homes in Finland every day. Every year, tens of people die in fires. Fires also cause damage to peoples’ health and property.
Even a single fire is too many. Preventing fires is easy. The aim of Fire Safety Week is to improve fire safety at homes.
This year, Fire Safety Week is held from 27 November to 3 December. The Fire Safety Week campaign reminds people that it is also important to look after the safety of those closest to us. If a fire breaks out, elderly people also need to get out of the burning building within a few minutes. That’s why it’s good to check up on fire safety also when visiting grandparents. You can use this checklist to make sure that fire safety in the house is in order.
There are many ways how you can take part in Fire Safety Week.
attend the doors open event, A Day at the Fire Station, at many fire stations around Finland or online.
take the Palometri test to see what you would do if a fire broke out.
check the condition of your smoke alarm on the national Smoke Alarm Day.
Virtual Day at the Fire Station 20 November–3 December
Tune in on Saturday, 20 November for the virtual Day at the Fire Station event. In the virtual event, you can visit a fire station and learn about the work of firefighters from the comfort of your home.
A Day at the Fire Station events at fire stations on 27 November
Many fire stations will have their doors open on 27 November At the doors open events, you can learn safety skills, see what goes on at a fire station and meet members of the station’s staff.
The Day at the Fire Station event is intended especially for families. Welcome!
Smoke Alarm Day on 1 December
The national Smoke Alarm Day is held every year on 1 December. Only a working smoke alarm will save lives.
Follow these steps to take care of your home’s smoke alarms:
Check that your smoke alarm is working: press the test button on the alarm regularly, such as on the first day of every month.
Replace the battery’s alarm once a year, for example on the Smoke Alarm Day on 1 December.
Remember to also replace the smoke alarm every 5 to 10 years. A smoke alarm has a limited useful life, just like all electrical appliances. An old smoke alarm may not necessarily detect smoke, even if the alarm sound is working.
Fire safety checklist
A fire is easier to prevent than to put out.
You can also practice your skills in case of a fire.
Use the following checklist to see if your home’s fire safety is in order.
The checklist has four steps:
1. Prevent fires in advance
2. Be ready in case of a fire
3. Make a rescue plan
4. Practice how to exit the building
Prevent fires in advance
Often, fires break out because people are careless. A fire can be caused by a broken electrical device, for example. Sometimes, electrical devices are used without following instructions.
This can also cause a fire.
In particular, care must be taken when cooking with a stove.
Care must also be taken when handling an open flame such as a candle.
Do not store anything flammable near the stove.
Do not leave food on a hot stove unattended.
Do not leave the dishwasher or washing machine on unattended.
Regularly clean the electrical appliances in the household from dust, also from the rear.
Follow the instructions on the electrical device on its use and maintenance.
Do not use an electrical device if it is malfunctioning.
Do not dry laundry above the sauna stove or store anything near the stove.
Keep matches and other fire lighting equipment out of the reach of children.
Do not leave a lit fireplace, candle or similar fire in the house unattended.
Keep in mind that consuming alcohol affects fire safety.
Do not smoke indoors.
Make sure that fireplaces and chimneys are swept yearly.
Be ready in case of a fire
If a fire breaks out, fire safety equipment are helpful in protecting you and your home. These include smoke alarms, stove guards and an automatic sprinkler system.
A smoke alarm is mandatory in all homes.
You should have a smoke alarm installed in each bedroom and near the front door.
Your home has enough smoke alarms, at least one alarm on each floor for every 60 square metres of living space.
Test the operation of smoke alarms monthly.
Replace the batteries in smoke alarms once a year.
Make sure that doors and windows can be opened easily from the inside.
Keep exit routes clear of obstructions.
Make sure that your home has firefighting equipment, such as a fire blanket or hand-held extinguisher, and that you know where they can be found if needed.
Make sure that all adults in the family know how to use the firefighting equipment.
Make a rescue plan
If a fire breaks out, everyone must exit the building quickly and safely.
Every adult should know how to put out a small fire.
Children also need to know what to do if a fire breaks out.
That’s why it is a good idea to make a rescue plan ahead of time.
Checklist for the rescue plan:
Draw a rescue plan for the family on a floor plan of the home, for example. In the plan, mark all available escape routes from the home: doors, windows and other exits.
Discuss what everyone needs to do if a smoke alarm goes off to warn of a fire.
Make sure that children know not to go into hiding during a fire.
Agree on a safe location outside the house where you will all meet up together. (In housing cooperatives, the assembly location is defined in the emergency plan.)
Remember that in a real fire, you must never return to a burning building.
Do not enter a stairwell if there is smoke there from a fire in another apartment. It is safer to stay in your apartment and wait for the fire brigade.
Practice how to exit the building
If a fire breaks out, you must exit the burning room quickly in 2 to 3 minutes.
Everyone must warn others about a fire and call the emergency number 112.
If you can, assist in rescuing others and in putting out the fire.
It’s a good idea to practice evacuation so that you know what to do in a real fire.
Checklist for practicing evacuating if a fire breaks out in the home:
Exit the building according to the rescue plan. To practice exiting in the dark with children, have them wear a blindfold.
When exiting the building, close all doors and windows behind you. This starves the fire of oxygen and prevents toxic gases from spreading.
Help others exit the building.
Gather at the agreed location outside the home.
Go over how to call the emergency number. The emergency number 112 may only be called in an emergency. The Emergency Response Centre operator will ask you for all the information needed and send assistance.
For more information about important fire safety issues, see your housing cooperative’s rules and emergency plan.