According to the Insurance Information Institute, fires in property structures not related to wildfires caused $11.1 billion in property damage in 2018. The average loss per resident for these property structure fires was $22,244, up 3.7 percent from a year ago.
As a property manager, it is your sole responsibility to ensure that your respective rental property is safe from fire hazards. The process of managing fire risk in a rental property can be challenging. This may be due to the size of the property, the number of tenants, and tenant profiles. Notwithstanding, property managers must acquaint themselves with the necessary fire safety tips to protect their properties and tenants.
Below are five Fire Safety Tips for Property Managers in 2020
- Carryout A Fire Risk Assessment of the Property
As a property manager, the first step to preventing fire hazards in your property is by identifying the likely cause of potential fire in your property. Carry out a comprehensive fire risk assessment of the property. Identifying the probable cause of potential fire risk in your property will help you in drafting a solid fire prevention strategy.
According to a National Fire Protection Association report, smoking, electrical, open space heating, cooking equipment, and candles are some of the significant causes of a rental property fire.
- Install A Smoke Detector & Smoke Alarm
The US Fire Administration reports that 40% of fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarm. Smoke detectors can easily detect smoke in the event of a fire faster than you or your tenants can. One of the easiest ways to make sure that it is in pristine condition is to test it at least once a month. Also, install a smoke alarm in and around the property. A quick piece of advice, interconnect the smoke alarms & detectors so that they all ring at the same time.
- Initiate A No-Smoking Policy
“Smoking is the leading cause of civilian home fire deaths,” according to the NFPA. Property managers in the US are fast adopting a no-smoking policy in their lease agreement with tenants. As a manager, you can restrict smoking within the apartments, common areas, hallway, and enclosed spaces. Find out from your Attorney about including this clause within your lease agreement with potential tenants.
- Create an Evacuation Plan and Educate Tenants About It
It is essential that you identify possible evacuation exits during your property fire risk assessment. As a property manager, draw up a concise evacuation map that highlights the relevant escape route.
By creating a comprehensive evacuation plan, you will be able to educate your existing and new tenants about it. Above all, dedicated evacuation routes should have lighting and be available on each of the floors properly.
- Engage in Regular Preventive Maintenance
One of the significant causes of fire hazards in rental properties is irregular maintenance of the electrical/heating system. As a property manager seeking to protect their property from fire hazard, carrying out monthly checks on the electrical and mechanical systems of the property is essential. Do not wait till they are faulty or cause a fire outbreak before maintaining them.
Fire outbreak in rental properties can lead to loss of lives and properties. It is essential that you protect your properties from fire hazards by adhering to the above-listed safety tips.