Property managers face a significant challenge when dealing with residential fires. Both the building and the people living in it are vulnerable to these types of calamities. Furthermore, the property manager may be subject to responsibility claims and legal fines, especially if the fire prevention measures implemented were insufficient. No amount of money is worth having a tenant’s injury or death on your conscience, and as the landlord or agent, you could face a severe legal punishment if you’ve been irresponsible.
This is why you should take every precaution to ensure your rental properties are safe for tenants by conducting routine safety inspections and supplying and maintaining any relevant safety devices. As expected, the question arises: “How to manage my rental property to meet fire safety regulations and minimise hazard concerns?” Thankfully, by implementing these five simple fire safety tips, you can protect your rental property and the well-being of your tenants.
Top 5 Fire Safety Tips to Protect your Property
1. Get complete insurance for your rental property
Protect yourself financially from the devastating effects of a fire by purchasing landlord insurance. Having insurance won’t prevent a fire or an arsonist from causing damage, but it will give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to pay for the associated costs, including the cost of repairs, rebuilding, and possibly missed rental income or temporarily rehousing renters. A solid landlord’s insurance policy will protect you from financial loss in the event of a fire, an accident, or any other covered occurrence.
2. Install smoke alarms & fire extinguishers where needed
One of the most important things you can do to prevent fires is to install an early warning system. It’s essential to change the batteries every six months, or at least tell the tenants to. All fire alarms should be checked and replaced at least once per decade – make sure you’re up to date regarding the property’s rental history. Additionally, each kitchen should have a fire extinguisher. Remember, the difference between minor smoke damage and a full-scale blaze could be a fire extinguisher placed strategically. Last, even if you have your renters check the smoke and CO detectors on a regular basis, it is still your responsibility to ensure that they are in good working order by doing frequent inspections and maintenance.
3. Check your local fire regulations and conduct fire safety inspections
Verify the fire codes in effect in every city where you have property. Local governments can impose different fire safety rules on property managers, who must therefore ensure they comply with all applicable fire regulations in any location where they do business. For more information on local house fire safety regulations and how to comply or go above and beyond them, consult a property management attorney or a fire inspector. When it comes to your private property, it’s a good time to double-check that your smoke detectors are operational and that any windows or other exits you might need are clear of obstructions. Tenants might also be reminded of the home rules.
4. Create a fire-emergency action plan
Time saved getting out of a building is potentially life-saving. As a landlord with many units, it is your job to ensure that your renters are familiar with the appropriate fire evacuation protocols. Create a plan to get them out of there as soon as possible via the nearest exit. If you own a multifamily building or any sort of residential complex, you must have an emergency plan in place. Tenants should be aware of and comfortable with these plans, which should be conspicuously displayed in each rental unit and rehearsed regularly.
5. Facilitate communication and encourage tenants to speak up
A few tenants want things to remain simple and won’t bother reporting potential hazards unless they’re somehow affected. And when it comes to fire prevention, such behaviours are no less than counterproductive. Establish clear communication with your tenants and make clear how much you respect their opinion in determining what issues need to be addressed. The sooner a problem is spotted, the more you may have your mind at ease.
Be on Top of Things with the Help of WestCourt’s experts
It’s not worth taking chances with the safety of your rental property, whether it’s a single unit, an apartment building, a hostel, or a business. The proper facilities and tools, as well as their regular upkeep, are your responsibility, so be aware of the relevant legislation and make sure you’re on top of things.
If you hire an agent, they will be partially responsible for your property’s safety and can provide guidance on what measures need to be taken. When it comes to insurance, tax on property rental and property management, WestCourt property experts are at your disposal to help you learn more about claims, their causes, and what your policy covers. Contact us today.