Friday December 09, 2022

10% young dwellers haven´t smoke detector in apartment

Published : 24 Nov 2022, 02:46

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

About one in ten under 35-year-olds do not have a smoke detector in their home, according to a survey conducted by OP Financial Group survey.

The survey results, however, said that 95% of all homes are equipped with a smoke detector.

“By law, all homes are required to have smoke detectors. Our survey shows that on average young adults who live in apartment buildings are less likely to have a smoke detector in their home. In apartment buildings, the lack of a smoke detector poses a significant safety hazard to both the tenant themselves as well as neighbours. A smoke detector saves lives in the event of fire,” said Markus Uimonen, Director, Property and General Liability Claims at Pohjola Insurance.

The government is proposing to change the Rescue Act to transfer the responsibility for smoke detectors from the tenant to the owner of the apartment.

The new law is planned to take effect at the start of 2024.

The aim of the changes in who is legally responsible for installing and maintaining smoke detectors is to ensure that the obligations are met better than they are currently.

According to rescue services, a smoke detector is missing from nearly one in five homes.

“The new law is a welcome change, as there seems to be a surprisingly high degree of uncertainty especially among young adults. Many older people and special needs groups may also have difficulties maintaining smoke detectors. If passed, the new law will hopefully ensure that every home in Finland is equipped with a smoke detector,” said Uimonen.

The recommended service life of smoke detectors is 5–10 years, and the batteries should be replaced once a year. The detector should also be tested regularly to ensure it is in working order.

“Often, in cases of fire, the smoke detector failed to work as expected. It’s advisable to set a calendar reminder for testing the detector and replacing the batteries to ensure that the smoke detector works as intended,” said Uimonen.

In addition to a smoke detector, the owner should ensure that the home is equipped with necessary firefighting equipment, such as a fire blanket and extinguisher.

According to the survey, a fire blanket is found in 87% of detached houses, compared with just 66% of apartments.

“A fire blanket is a highly effective way to put out both grease fires in the kitchen and electrical fires, and an item we will hopefully see in more and more homes,” said Uimonen.

Household fires are an occurrence in insurance claim statistics, but they are highly dangerous in terms of injuries and property damage.

Between 2017 and 2022, fires amounted to just 1.5% of household claim statistics collected by Pohjola Insurance, but the payouts for them made up 25% of all insurance claims paid to households.

The survey conducted in October was answered by a nationally representative online panel of 15–79 year-old Finns (n=2369). The survey was conducted for OP Financial Group by Taloustutkimus. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.0 percentage points.