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A safe residence

It is important to us that you can live in your unit safely. The following sections explain which measures we have taken and which measures you can take to prevent burglaries, ensure fire safety and limit damages.

Fire prevention

Our residential buildings satisfy the legal requirements set out in the national Building Regulations that were in effect at the time of the building’s acceptance. In concrete terms, this means that each of our buildings has an effective fire safety plan. However, it's is important that you also know how to prevent a fire and you know how to handle in the event of a fire. 

Kitchen fires

Kitchen fires - which can potentially spread to other areas - are frequently caused when people accidentally heat oil in a pan or deep fryer to the point of ignition. However, it’s easy to prevent such a fire:

  • Always stay nearby during cooking. Turn off all lighted burners if you decide to do something else in-between.
  • Always keep a lid that fits the pan or fryer within reach.
  • Regularly check the extractor or range hood and remove any grease that has accumulated. This way you reduce the risk of the fire immediately jumping to the hood if something catches fire.

If you are nevertheless faced with a pan fire, this is what you should do:

  • Turn off the extractor or range hood.
  • Close your cooking range’s gas valve or, if the appliance is electric, unplug it.
  • Quickly cover the pan or fryer with a lid that fits. Keep the lid tilted towards you while doing so to avoid getting burned. After some time, the fire will go out by itself due to a lack of oxygen. Keep the lid on and allow the pan or fryer to cool off for an extended period.

What you definitely should not do:

  • Do not try to extinguish burning oil or lard with water.
  • Do not try to move the burning or hot pan. This increases the risk of the fire spreading or of you getting injured.

Escape routes in the residential building

Should there nevertheless be a fire in your building, then it’s important that residents are able to quickly and safely vacate the building. The emergency escape routes play a key role in situations like this.

  • What are emergency escape routes?
    All corridors and staircases from the door of your room or unit can be used as emergency escape routes. Including the corridors in your floor’s public areas.
  • Keep the emergency escape routes clear of obstacles
    In the event of a fire, your familiar residential surroundings can turn into a confusing maze within a matter of minutes. That's why you need to keep all emergency escape routes free of obstacles like bikes, cases of beer, boxes or cabinets at all times.
  • Supervision
    Together with the residential committee, we keep a close eye on the emergency escape routes to ensure they remain clear of obstacles. And if they’re not, we take immediate action. We will order the removal of the obstacles in question. Please note: the tenant responsible will be charged for this operation.

What to do in the event of a fire

Is there a fire in your building? In that case, take the following actions:

  • Close all windows and doors. This will help stop the fire from spreading.
  • Call 112 and warn all your neighbours and/or housemates.
  • Leave the residential building. Do not use the lift.
  • Contact Stadswonen Rotterdam as soon as possible.
  • Notify the residential manager of your residential building where applicable.

Preventing burglaries

The police security initiative Politiekeurmerk Veilig Wonen (PKVW) focuses on occasional burglars. For example, some burglars walk around with a screwdriver in their pocket, scouting for locks that are easy to force open. PKVW certification comprises three sub-certificates: Veilige Woning (‘Secure Home’), Veilig Complex (‘Secure Complex’) and Veilige Omgeving (‘Secure Environs’). Most of our units have been issued a Veilige Woning certificate: after all, you need to feel secure in your own home.

How you benefit from a Veilige Woning certificate as a tenant

  • 90% lower risk of a successful burglary.
  • In many cases, you are eligible for a discount on the premium of your inboedelverzekering (contents insurance).
  • You feel secure when you are in your home.
  • You feel secure when you are away from home.

Which measures can you take to prevent a burglary?

Of course, you can also take measures yourself to discourage burglars:

  • Close your windows and doors. Even if you’ll only be out for a moment. And this includes the windows and/or balcony door of your kitchen. Are you renting a room rather than a unit? In that case, always lock the door to your room when you leave and close the front door of your floor where applicable.
  • Shut the entrance to your residential building. To prevent people who shouldn’t be there from entering the building, it’s important to shut the door so strangers can’t follow you in. And don’t just buzz open the door for anyone who rings, but check who’s at the door first.
  • Make it appear as if someone’s home. Going out for the evening? Make it appear as if you’re still in by leaving on an energy-efficient light.
  • Don’t label your keys. You definitely shouldn’t put an address label on your keys or those of your housemates. And don’t store your keys in an envelope with your address and/or unit number on it either.
  • Don’t announce that you’ll be out. Will you be away from home? Don’t tell anyone by putting up a note on your door. And don’t publicise it online via social media. Burglars actually keep an eye on things like that.
  • Make sure your letter box stays empty. If you’ll be away for a longer period, ask someone to regularly clear out your letter box so that it appears as if you’re still living at your place.
  • Ask for an ID card. When people ring at the door saying they’ve come to do maintenance work or other work on behalf of Stadswonen, be sure to ask for an ID. The personnel of Stadswonen Rotterdam and its affiliates always carry proof of identity on them.
  • Be sure to notify the responsible authorities when you come across a suspicious situation. The police can be reached by calling 0900 8844 (non-urgent matters) or 112 in the case of an emergency. Also notify us and, where applicable, the residential manager of your building. 

Limiting damages

You can take a number of measures before moving into your room or unit to limit the impact of damages due to a burglary and/or fire:

  • Inboedelverzekering (contents insurance)
    Take out an appropriate contents insurance that also includes coverage for damage due to breaking and entering. 
  • Personal belongings
    Take photos of all your personal effects and store these pictures plus the receipts somewhere safe outside your home. Be sure to also record the items’ type and serial numbers.
  • Digital data
    Regularly back up the data on your computer, laptop, phone, media player and/or camera and store this back-up somewhere safe (preferably outside your home).

Reporting nuisance

Is one of your neighbours or housemates causing nuisance? We advise taking the following steps.

  • Discuss the nuisance with the person responsible
    Contact the person responsible for the nuisance so that you can calmly discuss its effects on you. In many cases people causing a nuisance aren’t actually aware of its impact.
  • Get in touch with the building’s residential manager or Stadswonen Rotterdam
    Do you live in a residential building managed within a management structure? In that case, if Step 1 doesn’t end the nuisance, be sure to notify the residential manager. Do you live in a residential building without a management structure, or has the nuisance continued after speaking with the residential manager? In that case, notify Stadswonen Rotterdam directly via Stadswonen Portal. Stadswonen Rotterdam will contact the person responsible and, where necessary, mediate between the two parties. It’s important in this context that you have kept close records of when this nuisance occurred.
  • Legal procedure in the event of persistent nuisance
    If the nuisance persists after Step 2, Stadswonen Rotterdam can start a legal procedure against the person responsible, which may ultimately result in the termination of his or her tenancy agreement.

It is important that you keep close records of when exactly you are confronted with nuisance caused by the tenant in question. It is easier for us to arrive at a solution if we can refer to facts rather than general statements. That is why, after first reporting a persistent nuisance, you need to make sure to immediately notify Stadswonen Rotterdam of any new incidents.

Has the situation become unbearable?

If the situation has become unbearable, please ask the police to intervene. The police can be reached on 0900 8844 or, in the event of an emergency, 112.