Landlord/Owner Responsibilities

The International Fire Code, as adopted by the City of Springfield, requires landlords and property owners to take certain steps to protect residents of rental properties. While most of these codes only pertain to buildings with more than two units, the Springfield Fire Department strongly urges landlords and property owners of all rental properties to follow these guidelines. Doing so could not only protect your investment, but potentially save lives as well!

Please note: some code requirements vary based on the type or age of your building.  For more information on your property, contact the Prevention Division of the Springfield Fire Department or view the fire code online.  Please note:  the City of Springfield may have adopted amendments to this fire code.
Fire Extinguishers
  •  Fire extinguishers can be in the common areas (hallways) or on the exterior of the building.
  • There must be an extinguisher on each level and within 75’ of the front door to each apartment.
  • These extinguishers must be at a minimum 2A:10BC, hung properly with annual inspection tag.
  • Fire extinguishers can be in each apartment instead of in the common areas. The extinguisher should be located near the kitchen. These extinguishers must be at a minimum 1A:10BC, hung properly with annual inspection tag.

Smoke Alarms

  • installalarmolderadultc3_7 A minimum of one smoke alarm must be installed in each apartment placed outside of the bedroom(s).
  • Properties built after 2000 must also have additional alarms laced on each level and in each bedroom. We recommend all properties follow these guidelines, regardless of age.
  • The building owner should test smoke alarms at least once a year.
  • Include a signed statement with lease stating you installed the alarm and the tenant must maintain it.
Sprinkler Systems 

Sprinkler systems are the single greatest way to save lives and reduce property damage. While not all properties are required to install them, the Springfield Fire Department strongly recommends all property owners consider making the investment.

If you have a sprinkler system, follow these requirements:
  • Make sure the system is annually tested and maintained by a qualified company, approved by the Springfield Fire Department.
  • Check gauges for pressure on the system. Make sure control valves are in the open position (can be locked open or electronically supervised).
  • Sprinkler heads should not be painted or blocked by fixtures.
  • Make sure you have red sprinkler system tool box located on the wall near the riser include 6 extra heads and a wrench.

Fire Department Connections

  • Check that FDC caps are in place.
  • Can be plastic or locking.
  • Make sure access to FDC is not blocked and connection is in plain view. Have signage added if difficult to locate.  There should be a 3’ minimum clearance around FDC.
  • FDC should have current inspection tag.
  • Check the status of the fire alarm. Make sure it is not in trouble mode. Make sure it has not been silenced. Finally, ensure all lights are green.

Address and Apartment Numbers

  • Make sure address is visible from the street.  Addresses should also be visible on the back of the building. 
  • Make sure buildings are numbered or lettered clearly – should be at least 4 inches in height.
  • Make sure each individual apartment is numbered/lettered.

Exiting and Egress  exit   

  • Exit signs should be lit. 
  • Check egress lights and exit signs for battery operation monthly.
  • Keep stairways free of obstructions.
  • Hallways and stairs should be lit at all times.
  • Make sure furniture and personal items are not being stored in the hallways. Combustible materials cannot be stored under stairs.
  • Exit doors can be locked from the outside for security purposes, but cannot be locked from the inside. The doors should require no special knowledge and one motion to open.
  • Internal hallway doors and stairwell doors should not be propped open.
  • Make sure fire escapes are in good condition and structurally sound.
  • Consider installing Knox Box for easy entry by first responders.
BBQ Grills

  • Must be located at least 10 feet from all buildings.
  • May not be used on balconies unless the entire building is protected by a fire sprinkler system, including the balconies.
  • Consider banning storage on balconies/breezeways.