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Fire safety in student housing: what must your landlord do, what must/can you do?

Your landlord must meet many statutory regulations with respect to fire. There are several fire prevention, fire fighting and evacuation measures, and the owner must also present test certificates and logbooks (which appliances have been inspected for safety and when). At the owner's request, the city of Antwerp can provide him/her with free no-obligation advice. Every student accommodation (both within and outside of Kotweb) must undergo an inspection and be monitored for e.g. fire safety. 

Of course it makes little sense for an owner to invest in fire safety if the behaviour of the people living in his/her property bring the fire safety into danger. Therefore, prevent fires and contribute to the safety of the digs:

  • Ensure the smoke detectors are working properly. Never tape a smoke detector off or remove the batteries! Problems with a smoke alarm that keeps going off for no reason? Report it to the landlord or manager, but do not just disable the smoke alarm.
  • Report any electrical problems to your landlord. He is, after all, responsible for resolving them.
  • Together with your roommates, ensure that the common staircase (which opens onto the street) is always clear and easily accessible.
  • Only use fully insulated extension cables (or other electrical cords).
  • Ensure your computer and television have adequate ventilation.
  • Ensure halogen lamps (or other heat sources) are kept far enough away from flammable objects.
  • Keep an eye on pots and pans while cooking.
  • Ensure candles are extinguished when you go to sleep or go outside briefly.
  • Always fully extinguish cigarette butts.