Fire Chief has recommendations for renters on what to do before you sign a lease

(WTNH / George Roelofsen)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – Carrie Goodison rents a home in Middletown at a large apartment complex. Carrie moved in her place two years ago. One of the reasons she chose her spot is that her landlord she says takes fire safety seriously.

“They do inspections,” said Goodison. “Two, three times a year they have the fire department come here, they make sure all our smoke alarms are working.”

Not every renter is as prepared as Carrie.

“We never sat down at the kitchen table, like, for an evacuation plan,” said renter, Amber White.

Chief Robert Ross with the South District Fire Department in Middletown says if he was to rent a unit at a multi-family home he’d make sure first it had working sprinklers and also had smoke detectors inside on every floor and preferably in every bedroom, too.

Chief Ross tells News 8 smoke detector batteries should be changed at least twice a year. One way to make sure you remember to change the batteries is to replace your clocks for daylight savings time make sure you put a new battery inside that detector.

Also, no home should be without a fire extinguisher. Chief Ross insists they can be helpful in putting a small fire out before it becomes a big problem. But even if you know or love someone who has everything, Chief Ross also says one of the most important steps any renter can take is to come up with a fire evacuation plan that includes two possible exists from the residence.

“There’s almost a mental exercise that people should be going through,” said Chief Ross. “Sit down and say ‘you know what, if I can’t get out my door my hallway what am I going to do?’

Chief Ross also recommends to renters that they get renters insurance, that way should disaster strike they’ll be able to at least in some form get their property back.

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