There is a law in Finland which stipulates that every dwelling must be equipped with a sufficient number of smoke detectors. A smoke detector is a device that detects the outbreak of a fire at the earliest possible moment. A smoke detector could save your life. If a fire breaks out in your home, a smoke detector emits a loud alarm sound so that you can evacuate the premises in time. One smoke detector can cover up to 60 square metres. For example, if you home is 65 square metres in size, you will need two smoke detectors. If your home has more than one floor, calculate the floor area of each floor separately. There must be a sufficient number of smoke detectors on every floor. Place the smoke detector on the ceiling in the middle of the room, so that it detects the smoke from the fire as quickly as possible.
As the resident of the dwelling, it is your duty to buy a smoke detector. Smoke detectors are sold in department stores, large grocery stores and hardware shops, for example. There are different types of smoke detectors, and you can ask for more information from the shop assistant.
Check monthly that the smoke detector functions properly. Replace the batteries if necessary – preferably at least once a year.
Ensure that you have a fire blanket in your home. It is advisable to keep this in the kitchen near the stove, for example. It is also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher in your home. Some blocks of flats also have a fire extinguisher on the stairway. Find out where the nearest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
Finnish dwellings often have a sauna. Never place anything above the sauna heater even if you are not using the sauna, as this may cause a fire. For example, do not dry laundry above the sauna heater or near it. Always switch off an electric sauna heater after use.
Do not leave food on a hot stove unattended. Do not store dishes or other items on the stove. For example, small children can accidentally switch on the stove. This may ignite the items on the stove. If grease catches fire when you are cooking, smother the flames with the lid of a pot or frying pan, or a fire blanket. Do not use water.
Remember to switch off electrical devices after use. When you leave the dwelling, always check, for example, that the kitchen stove and sauna heater and coffee machine are switched off. Also check that you have disconnected the iron from the power socket.
Do not use electrical devices that are in poor condition, broken or have a faulty cable. They may catch fire.
If an electrical device catches fire, put out the fire with a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher, for example. Do not use water.
If you have electric radiators or other heaters in your home, do not place fabrics, clothes or any other items on them.
Leave enough space around your refrigerator, freezer, microwave oven and television. Do not cover them. The rear grate of the refrigerator and freezer should be cleaned of dust once a year with a vacuum cleaner, for example, if this is possible.
Take special care if you burn candles. Do not burn candles near curtains, for example.
If a fire breaks out, call the emergency number 112.
HELSINKI CITY RESCUE DEPARTMENT:
HELSINKI CITY, NEIGHBOURHOOD PROJECT:
Electricity, fuses and smoke detector
This video shows how to replace a bulb or a fuse, and what power outage means. You will also learn about smoke alarms and how to install them.