ApartmentsThere are special areas of concern when it comes to fire safety in apartment buildings. Families in apartment buildings live closer together, and they affect each other’s fire risk. The chances of starting a fire in an apartment are about the same as in a single-family home, but apartment fires have the ability to spread fire, heat and smoke throughout the building.  

Smoke detectors required

Every apartment must have working smoke detectors. It is your landlord’s responsibility to provide them and repair them when needed.

As a tenant, your responsibilities are:  

  • Ensure you have clean, operational smoke detectors.  

  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors, if applicable.  

You should also have a fire extinguisher or an overhead automatic sprinkler system.  

Grills and open flames

Charcoal grills and other open-flame cooking devices, such as pellet-fed grills, shall not be used or stored on apartment balconies made of combustible materials (e.g. wood) or within 10 feet of the building. Your apartment management has the right to be more restrictive than the city requirements. Please check with them before using a grill. 

You may use propane grills on decks and patios if:  

  • Your apartment patio or balcony is protected by an automatic sprinkler system. 

Propane containers, whether empty or full, cannot be stored on decks, patios, or inside basements, garages or storage areas. 

Open-flame devices such as fire pits and chimineas are not permitted on apartment decks and patios.

Fire Code Amendments for Apartment Managers