Living in Finland

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Safety at home

Fire safety

  • A smoke detector can save your life. If a fire breaks out in your home, a smoke detector emits a loud alarm sound so that you can evacuate the premises in time.
  • Ensure that your home is equipped with a sufficient number of smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are sold in department stores and hardware shops. One smoke detector can cover up to 60 square metres. For example, if your home is 65 square metres in size, you will need two smoke detectors. If your home has more than one floor, calculate the floor area of each floor separately. There must be a smoke detector on every floor.
  • Check regularly that the smoke detector functions properly. Replace the batteries, if necessary – preferably once a year.
  • You are responsible for the smoke detectors even if you are living in a rental dwelling.
  • Finnish dwellings often have a sauna. Never place anything above the sauna heater even if you are not using the sauna, as this may cause a fire. For example, do not dry laundry above the sauna heater or near it. Always switch off an electric sauna heater after use.
  • When leaving your home, remember to check that the stove, sauna heater and iron, for example, have been switched off.
  • It is also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher in your home. Some blocks of flats also have a fire extinguisher in the stairway. Find out where the nearest fire extinguisher is located.
  • Ensure that you have a fire blanket in your home. It is advisable to keep it near the stove, for example.
  • Do not leave food on a hot stove unattended. Be particularly careful when cooking at night. Do not cook food when intoxicated.
  • Do not store items on the stove. Children, pets or inadvertent contact may accidentally switch on the stove. This may ignite the items on the stove.
  • If the grease catches fire when you are cooking, smother the flames with the lid of a pot or frying pan, or a fire blanket. Do not use water.
  • Remember to switch off electrical devices after use. An iron must also be disconnected from the power socket.
  • Do not use electrical devices that are in poor conditions or whose cable is faulty.
  • If an electrical device catches fire, do not use water. Put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, for example.
  • If you have electric radiators or other heaters in your home, do not place fabrics, clothes or any other items on them.
  • Leave enough space around your television, microwave oven, refrigerator and freezer. Do not cover them. The rear grate of the freezer and refrigerator should be cleaned of dust once a year with a vacuum, for example, if this is possible.
  • Do not smoke indoors.
  • Do not leave candles burning unattended. Do not burn candles near curtains even when you are present in the room.
  • If a fire breaks out, call the emergency number 112.

linkkiHelsinki City Rescue Department:
Fire safety in apartment buildingsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiThe Finnish National Rescue Association:
Information on fire safetyFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki, Neighbourhood Project:
My home in a housing block - a guide for residents(pdf, 6,56 MB)Finnish | English | Russian | Somali | Arabic

linkkiHelsinki City Rescue Department:
Fire safety in detached housesFinnish | Swedish | English

Preventing water damage

  • Do not leave a washing machine or dishwasher on when leaving the home.
  • Regularly check the water pipes in your home for leaks and ensure that water does not leak on the floor from any appliances.
  • Keep the washing machine and dishwasher valves closed when not using the machines.
  • A plastic leak pan is required under the refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher. It is installed at the same time as the device.
  • Do not install a dishwasher yourself – leave it to a professional.
  • If there is a water leak in your home, try to close off the water line with the shut-off valve. If you live in a block of flats or terraced house, immediately report leaks to the housing company’s on-call number. If you live in a detached house, notify an on-call plumbing firm.

Electrical work

  • The mains voltage in Finland is 230 V.
  • In Finland, actual electrical work may only be conducted by professional electricians.
  • You may carry out some minor electrical work, if you have the requisite skills. For example, you can:
    • replace a fuse
    • replace a light bulb
    • repair a single-phase extension cord (voltage 230 V)
    • connect a light fixture to the terminal in the ceiling
    • replace a broken single-phase connection cord (voltage 230 V) and plug with a new functional one.

linkkiTukes:
Electrical installations that I can do myselfFinnish | Swedish | English

A security lock protects against thieves

  • If your home has a security lock, keep it closed whenever you are away.
  • Do not close the security lock when you are at home.
  • If someone breaks into your home, call the emergency number 112.

linkkiTukes:
A Safe Home for a Child guideFinnish | Swedish | English

Tampere Region Rescue Department: What should I do if there is a fire at my home

If you have any questions about the video, it is a good idea to ask experts.