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Fire Safety

Living off-campus means being more responsible for your own safety and the safety of those around you. Fire safety is one of the most important responsibilities you will assume. Make sure you know your responsibilities as a tenant and what your landlord must do regarding fire protection.

Required Fire Protection Devices

The New York State Fire Code and City of Syracuse Property Code require that smoke detectors (certified by a nationally recognized fire testing laboratory) must be installed in all common areas, including basements, in combination with other required alarm systems. They must also be installed both inside and outside each sleeping area. It is the landlord’s responsibility to install these devices, but the tenant must make sure the devices are in place and tested monthly. Make sure you know how to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. A smoke detector’s early warning can provide you with the extra time essential to a successful escape. New York State Law and the City of Syracuse Property Code also require each property to have at least one functioning carbon monoxide detector on the lowest level of the house with a bedroom.

Tips for Preventing Fires in Your Home or Apartment

  • Be sure smoke detectors are in proper working condition. Install new batteries at the beginning of each semester.
  • Never ignore a fire alarm; fires can spread quickly. Evacuate immediately, even when no smoke is present.
  • Have an escape plan. Know where the fire exits are and have two escape routes from each room
  • Do not overload electrical outlets. If you need to plug multiple appliances into an outlet, use a power strip.
  • Extinguish candles and incense when unattended. Never place a candle near curtains, posters, or anything else flammable. Keep candles away from fans, open windows, or anywhere they can be knocked over.
  • Don’t leave food unattended on the stove or in the microwave. Be sure to turn off all burners and your stove whenever you leave your apartment.• Extinguish all smoking materials thoroughly. When smoking, use a sturdy non-tipping ashtray.
  • Clean up immediately after parties and take all trash out.
  • Keep flammable materials at least three feet away fromwater heaters, furnaces, and other flame sources.
  • City of Syracuse fire ordinances prohibit the use ofany open-flame device, including grills on porches or overhangs. Grills must be placed at least 12 feet from a structure.
  • Do not store gasoline, lighter fluid, etc., inside your apartment.
  • Make sure beds, couches, curtains or other flammable objects are at least two feet away from heat sources.
  • Portable heaters can be dangerous if used improperly. Read instructions carefully.
  • Do not run your clothes dryer without a lint filter; clean the filter between every use.
  • Always check the wattage in light bulbs to make sure you are using the correct bulbs in light fixtures.
  • Do not hang items from fire sprinklers

In Case Fire Does Strike

  • If you hear an alarm, leave at once—do not delay. Close all doors behind you. Call 911, say “I want to report a fire,” and give a complete name and address. Stay on the phone until the dispatcher releases you.
  • Don’t try to fight the fire or round up valuables.
  • Avoid elevators. Use the stairs.
  • Feel all doors before opening. If a door feels hot, or if smoke is seeping out, do not open it.
  • If you wake in a smoke-filled room, avoid breathing deeply, cover your nose and mouth with a cloth if possible, drop to the floor, and crawl to an exit.
  • If you become trapped in your apartment and cannot reach a fire exit, do not panic. Close your door and seal off any cracks with wet towels and call the fire department. Open a window for air and signal for help. Do not jump. Wait for help.
  • If you are caught in smoke or heat, stay low, where the air is better. Take short, quick breaths through the nose until you reach safety