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Fire Safety

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New Jersey
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17 posts
28 reviews
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Fire Safety

I wish I was told there are virtually no fire safety rules in Paris. There are no smoke/fire detectors in our apartment rental, narrow wooden stairs, no fire escapes..I am not going to sleep for ten nights. Before booking check this out...it is outrageous. When I called rental agency they said I was the first person to ask why this was so! I doubt that very much...these people here need to address this.

Waterloo, Belgium
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2,586 posts
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1. Re: Fire Safety

I'd be surprised there would be no rules. All hotels I've been to have smoke detectors...

I live in Belgium and smoke detectors are mandatory in all housing, whether for rent or owned.

Paris, France
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25,245 posts
32 reviews
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2. Re: Fire Safety

Ah, that's the whole problem of the illegal vacation rentals in Paris (and the rest of France). If they were proper commercial establishments, they would have the obligatory smoke detectors.

I suggest putting off your trip until March 8, 2015 when smoke detectors will become obligatory in all private residences in France.

PARIS
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12,812 posts
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3. Re: Fire Safety

Hi ms!

Can I ask what the point of your post is?

How can we help?

Chicago, Illinois
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23,015 posts
76 reviews
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4. Re: Fire Safety

I have always been grateful that the buildings are so low and that Paris is well equipped with snorkels and loaders that reach those 6th and 7th floor apartments. (they deliver furniture through the windows) The buildings do appear to be firetraps in that there is rarely any exist except down an open, wooden central chimney (stairway). We were so spooked in Amsterdam where it was even worse (the stairs themselves are seriously hazardous in the old canal houses) that I actually checked out the trap door to the roof and plotted out emergency exit via the rooftops if necessary. The hotels are not really any better.

I don't read about a lot of people being immolated in Paris so I assume the pompier are good at extracting people when fires occur.

janettravels44

www.janettravels.wordpress.com

Antarctica
Destination Expert
for Limerick, Killarney
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25,252 posts
82 reviews
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5. Re: Fire Safety

If you are worried about the lack of a fire alarm then purchase a battery operated one (they are available here in Ireland in twin packs very reasonably priced - I'm sure the same situation pertains in Paris) and use it in your apartment.

And have an evacuation plan, just in case of emergency.

Hopefully neither will be needed but at least you will be somewhat reassured. And hopefully you will get some sleep.

Waterloo, Belgium
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2,586 posts
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6. Re: Fire Safety

Just go to Belgium, we're seemingly ten years ahead of France (again).

Only thing we're lagging behind is wine...

Paris, France
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1,767 posts
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7. Re: Fire Safety

"Those people" won't adress it now as explained by Kerouac.

If you want to survive your stay you can buy one at Leroy Merlin, just next to the Pompidou museum:

leroymerlin.fr/v3/p/produits/electricite-dom…

Edited: 03 May 2014, 19:27
Paris 4th Arr
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7,257 posts
12 reviews
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8. Re: Fire Safety

We see it much the same as Janettravels. In old European buildings that went up before indoor plumbing and electricity, the only place to run the pipes and cables when these buildings were updated was via the common stairwells that internally connected all the floors so if there's a problem in the distribution mains, the stairwell could be blocked and you'd be trapped in your apartment till help arrived. This concerned us to the point that we bought emergency chain escape ladders from the states (at some considerable expense) because they didn't exist in France in 2003 and we we are the types who plan an escape for every building we enter. No one buys escape ladders even now in Paris. Our friends thing we're being paranoid.

Since then I've looked at a lot of statistical information on this and in the real world, stairwell fires are very rare. Fires almost always start in apartments, the buildings are usually made of stone, the cavities between floors are normally filled with stone rubble, and the old beams that provide the lateral structural framing typically have at least a 3 hour burn life. This means the fire department has plenty of time to arrive and if you've ever seen these guyz work, they're amazing. They arrive in 10 minutes and already know your door codes.

Fires aren't the problem that they are in places where buildings are made of wood. It's your basic three little pigs scenario.

Smoke is the issue and it does come back to smoke detectors. In 2003 they cost €70-€110 each but now they're around €15 each if you go to Leroy Merlin first instead on BHV.

Victoria, Canada
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21,468 posts
84 reviews
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9. Re: Fire Safety

In Canada one can find battery operated smoke alarms for less then 15 dollars. Seems they would just as easy to find and buy in States.

Buy one and put it in your suitcase .. seems very sensible solution to me.. I am quite sure you are spending more then that on new shoes or clothes or toiletries for your vacation.

Paris 4th Arr
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7,257 posts
12 reviews
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10. Re: Fire Safety

One problem, something that we considered... Smoke detectors contain radioactive materials. In the mid-2000s, they were regularly confiscated but not by policy so it was hit-or-miss. Just an FYI.