Putting People and Fires Out

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Putting People and Fires Out

French Property Insider
Volume XII, Issue 49
Thursday, December 18, 2014 • Paris, France

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O
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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

Former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin warms himself next to a fire in his Matignon office in Paris in 1998 -- © AFP Joel Robine Former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin warms himself next to a fire in his Matignon office in Paris in 1998 — © AFP Joel Robine PUTTING ‘CERTAIN’ PEOPLE OUT TO MAKE ROOM FOR PUTTING ‘CERTAIN’ PEOPLE IN

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo is on a rampage to find more housing in her city that is suffering from a shortage, so she’s trying to put ‘certain’ people out of their homes to make room. Make sense? Maybe. The latest report from City Hall is their look at the ‘inside’ to the politicians who have absconded with council homes for themselves or their friends.

The city claims there are thousands — 39,000 is the estimate, many in the most desirable of areas — that have been rented for decades at below-market values to the wealthy and the well-connected. It is believed that about 30% of these properties are occupied by tenants that can well afford higher rents. She’s pointing her finger at the city’s past center-right mayors from 30 years ago as the culprits for the abuse of the system.

The city has 170,000 people seeking social housing, so they are determined to find refuge for them in a city that is largely a home for the well-heeled, as are most international cities such as Paris.

Personally, I am pleased to see that owners of short-term rental apartments aren’t the only ones being accused of taking housing from the less fortunate.  I’n not sure, however, that replacing 39,000 properties occupied by those who support the economy with their wealth with those who will rely on the social system and contribute less to the economy…at least not for the moment…but of course, I’m basically a capitalist.

Campaign for smoke/fire detectors - FranceCampaign for smoke/fire detectors PUTTING OUT FIRES, PART I

Paris is determined to put out the fires…thank goodness! After my recent experience having to escape from a smoke-filled stairwell, it’s finally going to be compulsory for all homes in France as of March 8, 2015 to have at least one smoke detector.

I’ve always had one in my own apartment and we install them in all the rental apartments, but only about 2% of the houses in France are equipped, compared to other places on the planet, such as Norway where 98% are set up and England where 89% are. Hundreds of people die every year in house fires in France and we could have been among them. Luckily, our fire started in the early evening, but seven out of 10 start in the middle of the night.

Detectors are cheap — 10€ to 20€ — and once a battery is inserted, they just stick on the wall. It’s as simple as it gets to install. It is recommended that it be placed in a hall leading to rooms used regularly and either on the ceiling or at the top of a wall away from the source of the smoke.

Don’t make the mistake of placing it so high that you can’t reach it to change the battery or disengage it! I’ve made that mistake one time too many! I can tell you from experience — each time I’ve broiled a steak and set it off — that if I can’t get to it quickly enough, it will wake up the dead. Thank goodness — that’s the point!

Don’t walk, run…to the nearest Darty or other retailer to purchase your smoke alarm and get it installed. You may easily save someone’s life.

Chimneys in Paris - courtesy France24Chimneys in Paris – courtesy France24PUTTING OUT FIRES, PART II

The city is banning log fires, too, but this isn’t about fire damage — it’s about pollution. As of January 1, 2015, log-burning fires in open-style Parisian fireplaces (as well as in the entire Ile-de-France and in seven other districts) will be a thing of the past in an effort to reduce it. Four-hundred-thirty-five other cities are doing the same, although wood burned in closed-combustion chimney-places will be acceptable.

I can remember sitting for many hours in front of our roaring log fire in Tennessee with the snow on the ground and no where to go. Of course, that was the countryside and the smoke from the chimney didn’t contribute heavily to city pollution as it does in Paris, creating public health problems and respiratory ailments. Pollution is said to be responsible for 42,000 premature deaths in France every year and this is aimed to reduce that number.

The chimney sweeps aren’t happy. I suppose they will have to find a new line of work. And those who love to sit in front of a roaring fire like I do will be missing out. Some critics say it’s “stupid,” but the environmentalists say it makes up 23% of the polluting emissions in the Ile-de-France, the same as vehicles, and emit eight times more particles than closed-combustion units…so that’s worth considering. In contrast, Airparif, the monitoring agency in and around Paris claims something different — that 39% of the fine particle emissions come from vehicles while only 4% are attributed to wood burning fireplaces. Hmmm…not sure who to believe!

SPECIAL NOTE

US embassy in Paris - FranceThe US embassy in Paris The U.S. Embassy in Paris, in collaboration with the American Presence Posts in Rennes, Bordeaux, and Lyon, is pleased to announce off-site consular services in 2015. Select consular services will be available in Rennes on February 11th, in Bordeaux on March 18th, and in Lyon on April 29th.  

United States Embassy
American Citizen Services Unit
4, avenue Gabriel
75382 Paris Cedex 08
France
Telephone in France: 01 43 12 22 22
Telephone from U.S.: (011 33) 1 43 12 22 22
Website: france.usembassy.gov

A bientôt ,

 Adrian Leeds, French Property InsiderAdrian Leeds

Director of The Adrian Leeds Group

Respond to Adrian: fpi@adrianleeds.com

 

 

 

   

P.S. It’s tomorrow! Watch House Hunter’s International episode “Living a Teenage Dream in Paris, France” on December 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 p.m. CT and December 20 at 1:30 a.m. ET / 12:30 a.m. CT. Can a former Paris exchange student who has long dreamed of living in France find a Parisian apartment when she hasn’t given much thought to what she wants in her new home? Tune in and find out!


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