Are your concerns about fire valid regarding hoarding situations in buildings?

Are you worried your next-door neighbour in your building is a hoarder and you’re concerned about the risk of fire, or pests that might affect you and/or your property? There are steps you can take to address the situation and involve the appropriate authorities, such as the fire department.

in 2016 in Chicago, a fire erupted in a two-story apartment building inhabited by a hoarder. The excessive clutter impeded firefighters’ efforts to extinguish the blaze, resulting in the death of the hoarder and the destruction of the building. In London, UK a fire broke out in a hoarder’s flat, leading to the death of the occupant. The large number of stored possessions and clutter hindered escape and firefighting efforts.

These examples highlight the potential dangers of hoarding and the increased fire risks it can pose. It’s crucial to address hoarding situations to prevent such incidents and ensure the safety of both the hoarder and surrounding neighbours.


Reference guide

  • ✅ Review building regulations: Familiarize yourself with the local fire safety and building regulations in your area. These regulations may outline specific guidelines regarding hoarding and fire safety that can help you make a case for involving the fire department.
  • ✅ Notify the building management: Inform the management or landlord of the building about your concerns regarding the hoarding situation. Provide them with the evidence you have gathered and express your worries about the potential fire hazard. They should take this matter seriously and may be able to address it directly with the homeowner or tenant.
  • ✅ Contact your local fire department: If the building management does not take appropriate action or if you believe the situation is urgent, reach out to your local fire department. Look up their contact information online (non-emergency line) or in a local directory. Explain the situation, emphasizing the potential fire risk, and provide them with any evidence you have collected. They will guide you on the next steps and may decide to conduct an inspection.
  • ✅ Maintain confidentiality: When reporting the situation, it’s important to respect the privacy of the individual suspected of hoarding. Avoid disclosing their identity unless absolutely necessary, as this can help prevent potential conflicts or embarrassment.
  • ✅ Follow up with the authorities: Keep in touch with the fire department or any other relevant authorities to ensure they are addressing the issue appropriately. They may need additional information or clarification from you, so be prepared to cooperate and provide any necessary assistance.


Remember, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and act responsibly when dealing with potential fire hazards. The fire department and building management should be your main points of contact, as they have the expertise to handle such situations effectively.

If you are worried your neighbour is a hoarder, don’t wait to act. Acting promptly may save lives.

1st Hoarding Clean Up is a team of dedicated experts in the clean up or hoarded spaces in the Lower Mainland. If you or a loved one requires help, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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