Checklist for Renting Apartments

Fire Safety Factors

Smoke Detectors

  • Do they work
  • They must be hardwired
  • Older buildings should have them in the living areas outside of bedrooms
  • New buildings same as above and in the bedrooms
  • In buildings with common halls there must be at least one (1) per floor and in the basement they must be interconnected and have backup power.
In buildings with 12 or more apartments, there must be a full fire alarm system.

Means of Egress

  • There must always be two (2) means of egress, i.e. if there is only one door to a hallway you must be able to go in two directions once you enter the hallway, to exit the building.
  • Is the hallway lighted at all times
  • If there are more than 12 apartments, there must be emergency lights in the hallways and/or stairways, or if the building is more than 3 stories tall
  • All public hallways must be marked with exit signs
  • If there are any public stairways, they must be enclosed.

Means of Escape

  • Do all living areas (except bathrooms and kitchen) have at least one (1) window to the outside
  • This window must open to provide an opening of at least 5.7 sq. feet or 20” wide by 24” high
  • The bottom of the window must be no higher than 44” from the floor
Doors from the apartments to public hallways must be solid and in good shape and fit snugly into their frames. They must be self-closing and positive latching.

Is the building equipped with an automatic fire sprinkling system? Check to make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector in the rental unit.