What You Need to Know About Annual Fire Disclosures

If you live in a San Francisco apartment building, you should be getting an annual fire disclosure every January. If this is news to you, you might want to have a chat with your landlord. The San Francisco Fire Department (sf-fire.org) along with the Board of Supervisors passed legislation in 2016 that requires landlords to notify tenants about certain fire safety features. The goal is to keep tenants safe and secure in the event a fire or carbon monoxide leak occurs.

Here’s what kind of information you should get from your landlord, what to do if you haven’t and how to keep yourself safe.

Annual fire disclosures

Every year, you should receive an annual fire disclosure by January 31. This document should include the following information:

  • Fire extinguishers: Your disclosure should list where the fire extinguisher is located on your floor and the most recent service date.
  • Emergency exits: There should be a description of where the emergency exits are located on your floor (at the very least) and a notice that those exits must be unobstructed at all times.
  • Fire escapes: If there are fire escapes on your floor, the disclosure should note where the exits are located and how to access them. They should also provide the most recent service date.
  • Fire alarms: If there are fire alarms in your building, the disclosure should provide information about where they are located—whether on your floor or for the entire building—and how to access them. It should also include the last fire alarm control panel service date, the UL certification number and UL expiration date.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms: Finally, the disclosure should list your individual unit’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, instructions on how to test them and when they were last replaced in your unit. Don’t forget to change the batteries regularly!

What to do if your landlord hasn’t given you a disclosure

If your landlord hasn’t given you a disclosure, or you suspect a fire code violation, call the fire department at 415-558-3300. You may wish to speak to your landlord before you call the fire department—but if they are unresponsive, the fire department and the San Francisco Tenants’ Union should be your next stop.

Keeping yourself protected

Keeping yourself safe in your apartment building is important, whether your landlord has been complying with fire disclosures or not. Remember to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and change the batteries on a regular basis. You should also familiarize yourself with the emergency exits and fire escapes. Form a plan in case of fire: how will you get out and what will you take with you?

If you live with roommates or family members, make sure they know the plan, too. Designate a meeting spot outside the apartment, and plan to meet there in case of emergency.

When you need fire escape service for your building, or if you need to ensure compliance after your annual fire disclosure, call Great Escape Fire Escape Service today.

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