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Consider these questions before signing a rental agreement:

  • Are smoke alarms installed, and do they work?
  • How old are the smoke alarms?
  • How often are the smoke alarms checked and batteries changed?
  • Are there at least two ways to exit your living space and building?
  • Do the upper floors have a fire escape or ladder available for each bedroom?
  • Are the living-unit doors rated for fire?
  • Are fire extinguishers available, and have they been tested within the past year?
  • Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher and which extinguisher to use on each type of fire?
  • Is there a sprinkler system installed?
  • Is the electrical wiring adequate?
  • Is the building regularly inspected by the local fire department or University authorities?
  • What is the owner’s policy for fixing reported safety problems in the building?
  • Has there ever been a fire in the building? What was the cause?
  • Does the residence have a gas or electric stove, and do you know how to use it correctly?
  • Where is the nearest fire hydrant?
  • Who is responsible for keeping the property cleared in winter?
  • Is the owner a member in good standing in a landlord/tenant association or similar?
  • Has the building been the subject of any safety complaints?

For more information, consult the National Association of State Fire Marshals.

Contact Us

Commuter Programs

Ely Center 103

(202) 510-9594

(202) 651-5144

(202) 651-5651

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