Safe and secure housing in a rental home

We all have the right to housing where life is safe and secure. We have put together a list of things that you should take care of in order to have a positive effect on your own as well as your neighbours’ safety and security in a rental home. The expert advice is provided by SATO Service Director Johanna Vaara, who has a long track record in housing issues.

Take a good look at your building’s emergency plan

The emergency plan is an important document, as the Rescue Act obliges the owner of a residential building to both draw up the plan and to keep it available to the residents. The emergency plan shows you details including the building’s safety and security arrangements, an assessment of dangers and risks, and instructions on how to act in case of a variety of special situations.

If you live in a SATO home, you will find your home building’s emergency plan by entering your street address on the Contact us page. There is a link to the emergency plan under the heading Real-estate information.

If you cannot find the emergency plan for your address or the plan is not available online, you can contact your building’s service manager or building manager for a copy.

We strongly recommend that you study the plan carefully. “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is a saying that also applies to emergency situations. When you know where to find home building’s emergency exit routes, the nearest civil defence shelter and other important things, you will be able to act more calmly in special situations and also help others.

To find the emergency plan, enter your address in the ‘Contact info of your home building’ field under Contact us ›

The emergency plans of SATO home buildings are easy to access online.

Keep the staircases and corridors clear

To prevent any risk of trip or slip-and-fall accidents, the staircases and corridors must be kept clear of any items. As strict as it may feel, you are not allowed to put even a small doormat outside your door in the corridor.

“Any extra items in areas such as the entrance to the staircase make exiting or escaping from the building more difficult. They also increase the risk of fire,” SATO Service Director Johanna Vaara points out.

Baby transport items and car tyres pose a particular fire risk. When flames catch material that is easily flammable and burns for a long time, toxic smoke is created in the staircase and corridors and rescue work gets more difficult. The correct place for baby transport and outdoor equipment is in the storage rooms intended for them. If you are not sure where baby transport can be stored, contact your home building’s House Expert, maintenance company or building manager for advice.

See the types of storage units SATO has and what you can store in them ›

Close the exterior doors to your home building

It often happens that people accidentally leave the home building’s exterior door open. When you go through the door, remember to check that the door is shut properly behind you. This way you will also look after your neighbours.

“You should make sure that every member of your family has their own keys. This way you won’t have to leave the door open for, say, a child, as they’ll be able to get in using their own key,” Johanna says.

Never give the door code of your home building to anyone you do not know.

Keeping the doors shut not only reduces vandalism and break-ins to storage units but also cuts down energy costs, as heat will not escape through any open doors.

Ensure cybersecurity

It is important to take care of updates and information security relating to your home router and any devices and appliances connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Read the router guidelines ›
Take a look at the guidelines on how to use IoT devices ›

Install a smoke alarm and make sure it works

Under the law, every apartment must have a smoke alarm, so remember to install one as soon as you move into a SATO home. Install the smoke alarm in the middle of the ceiling in each room, excluding the bathroom and kitchen. One alarm per 60 m2 is enough.

Also remember to check regularly that your smoke alarms work. The smoke alarm making a small, repeated chirping sound tells you that it is time to change the batteries.

6 tips for fire safety in the home ›

Look after the cooker and large home appliances

Remember to clean the cooktop and oven at regular intervals. You must never store anything on the cooktop – not even pots and pans. If you have a child or a pet, you should protect the cooker with a knob cover. It prevents the cooktop and oven being switched on accidentally.

Vacuum clean regularly behind the cooker and especially the refrigerator coils and compressor of your fridge and freezer. The less dust there is, the lower the risk of fire.

Unplug your small appliances

If a small home appliance is intended to heat up, it may also catch fire. This is why you should unplug your coffee maker and toaster when not using them and be particularly careful with hairstyling tools and clothes irons.

Any electrical appliance that makes a strange sound or has changed colour should be checked by a professional and/or replaced with a new one. The same applies if there is any damage to the power cord.

Remember the rules with candles

If you like burning candles, always remember to make sure there is enough space above and next to the candle. This means you must never put a candle in a place where the flame might reach, for example, curtains or the base of a cupboard or shelf above the candle. Always blow candles out when you leave the room.

If a live flame is not your thing, but the flicker of a candle would be nice for atmosphere, LED candles might be a good option for you.

Keep your sauna tidy and never dry any textiles in the sauna

The sauna is for bathing and relaxing, so remember to keep your sauna tidy. Do not store any items or dry your laundry in the sauna. Also remember to switch the sauna stove off when you have finished your sauna session.

“If you for some reason aren’t using the sauna, you can take the fuses out of use in the fuse box. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can contact our Customer Service or the House Expert of your home building,” Johanna says.

Smoke only where smoking is allowed

If you smoke, only do so in the area where smoking is allowed under your building’s rules. Make sure all cigarette butts end up in the container intended for them.

Avoid water damage

Water damage may occur if the floor drain has not been cleaned and has become blocked. A blocked drain may cause a slip-and-fall accident when there is water flooding on the floor. If the floor drain is blocked, the resident is responsible for unblocking it. See below for guidance on smart floor drain maintenance.

How to clean the floor drain in a rental home bathroom ›

“Water damage may lead into a big renovation job,” Johanna adds.

You should get a professional to install your dishwasher to make sure all the connections are secure. Just remember to always first ask SATO for permission to install or replace a dishwasher.

Leaky water fittings can also increase the risk of accident or damage. Make sure you contact us if you spot a leaky bidet shower, tap, pipe or other water fitting in your home.

SATO contact details and logging into OmaSATO ›

When you need to act fast, it is easier to stay calm when you have prepared for the situation in advance.

Prepare for exceptional situations

The coronavirus pandemic has taught us many things, with one of the main ones probably being maintaining a home emergency food supply. This means that you should have enough food in your home for the entire family for around a week. In addition, you should always keep a stock of medicines, wound care supplies, water, light bulbs, a torch and a good old battery-operated radio. Spare batteries are also a good idea. You should also have enough face masks to last you for at least a few days.

In the event of an emergency, call the emergency number 112.

“The number one thing in any exceptional situation in the home is to stay up to date on the situation, stay calm and follow instructions,” Johanna sums up. “On the whole, however, a SATO rental home is a very safe place – this is ensured not only by you but also by us at SATO as well as all the relevant legislation and the authorities ensuring compliance with the legislation.”

Read more important and practical advice on safety at home at ›