Many apartment blocks have still not numbered their floors or doors despite mandatory legislation that entered into force in 2021. The Rescue Board said there are many gaps.
Since March 2021, all apartment buildings in Estonia must have a marked route from the front door to its apartments, including the front door, floors, hallway and apartment doors.
"There are certainly still many gaps. We are working on this through the associations to get numbers on the door. /.../ If it does happen, it is indeed very difficult to know which door to go through, and the rescue can take longer because of that," said Maret Rannala, head of the Rescue Board's safety supervision department.
There have been cases where rescue workers have been confused due to missing door numbers. One instance even reached the Supreme Court.
"The firefighters broke down the wrong door and the owner of the other apartment, who did not have a fire, filed a claim against the Rescue Board for removing the wrong door. [But] It is known that if, during an emergency, it happens that someone enters through the wrong apartment door, the state does not actually pay for it under the State Liability Act, i.e. it is at the owner's own expense," Rannala said.
Some apartment associations have made stickers or signs themselves.
"Usually, when we call on apartment owners to put numbers on their doors, some of them respond, but most do not. /.../ In order to save time and resources, I don't want to spend too much time haggling over which number will fit and which won't, it's easier to deal with it on the principle that we do little to intrude on the privacy of the apartment owners themselves," Ülar Haug, chairman of housing association told "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Tuesday.
On the other hand, associations acknowledge the lack of numbers is a problem that can be solved easily and cheaply.
Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera