Renter's home fire safety checklist

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Renter's home fire safety checklist

Renting a home and want to make sure it's fire safe? Here's a quick and easy checklist you can use to spot any risks or hazards that might cause a fire.

Walk through each part of your house and check off each point as you go. If a point doesn't apply to you (for example, if you don’t have a fireplace), give it a tick.

This checklist is for people who rent a house or apartment in the city or suburbs.

Kitchen

  • The stovetop is clean and free of any spilled fats or burnt foods.
  • The rangehood filters have been cleaned recently.
  • There's a fire extinguisher near the kitchen and I know how to use it.

Living room and bedrooms

  • Smoke alarms are working properly and have fresh batteries.
    • It’s your responsibility to make sure batteries are replaced regularly on smoke alarms that are not long-life smoke alarms. These usually have an easily accessed 9-volt battery.
    • If the smoke alarm stops working you must tell your landlord.
  • The fireplace has a screen with a proper fireguard, and the chimney has been checked and/or swept in the last year.
  • Powerpoints or multiboards are not overloaded with high wattage appliances like heaters.
  • Matches, lighters or other fire starting tools are stored out of reach of children.
  • Lights are fitted with the correct bulb size and rating (in watts).
  • Electric blankets are in good condition, and not more than 5 years old.
  • There's a torch near every bed (in case of emergencies).

Outdoors

  • BBQ fittings are tight and secure, and there's at least 1 metre of clear space around the BBQ. Use the soap bubble test [link to BBQs and Gas cylinders page] to make sure there are no leaks.
  • Flammable liquids in sheds or garages are stored in appropriate containers.

Laundry

  • There's no lint built up in the clothes dryer filter (you should check this after every use).
  • The clothes dryer has been checked recently by a professional to ensure there's no dust built up in the back (don't open up the dryer yourself, as this will breach the warranty).
  • There's plenty of ventilation and air space around the clothes dryer.