It’s very easy for a small fire to quickly spiral out of control, destroying property and putting lives in danger. Fortunately, there are ways to help ensure that such disasters never occur. To help, let’s discuss some important fire prevention tips that landlords should know about so you can keep what matters most safe.
Check Local Fire Regulations
No matter where you own property, it’s essential that you keep up with the area’s local and state fire regulation codes–they exist for a reason! Some areas are more prone to fire than others, and while the differences between state codes may be subtle, you can get into serious trouble if a fire does occur. For example, some states may require you to have fire alarms in every room of the unit, while other states only require you to have one in particular spaces, such as the kitchen. If unsure, contact your local fire inspector to help you meet the requirements.
Conduct Regular Inspections
On the topic of fire inspectors, hiring a professional to conduct a fire inspection every time a tenant moves out is a wise move. You never honestly know what a tenant may not have reported or even knew to report, such as improper wiring or improperly installed dryers. A fire inspector can help locate these issues and ensure the functionality of fire safety mechanisms such as smoke detectors and fire alarms. With this strategy, you keep yourself, your property, and future tenants much safer.
Create an Evacuation Action Plan
Some fires are too dangerous and too large for a tenant to put out themselves with a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher. In these cases, it’s best for them to evacuate the property and call 911 for help, but making the right decisions can be difficult in an emergency. Providing tenants with a list of building evacuation routes and tips can save lives. The faster people can exit the building, the faster they can call the fire department to help anyone trapped and prevent further property damage. These types of risk avoidance tactics help you protect your real estate investment and keep people safe.
Establish General Safety Rules and Policies
Dealing with fire and flammable objects is an everyday occurrence. From stovetops and grilling to lighting candles or cigarettes, it’s not uncommon for people to forget the rules about activities they participate in daily. Providing rules and guidelines about leaving stove tops and candles unattended may seem unnecessary, but it’s normal and possible for people to forget these precautions. You may also want to outline clear policies for grilling or smoking and even decide to ban these things altogether. It depends on what you’re comfortable with.
Now that you know some of the most critical fire prevention tips for landlords, contact your local fire inspector today! Even if fires aren’t common in your area, or you don’t think it’s something you have to worry about, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.