Fire damage at your rental property can be devastating to your tenants and to you. The safety and fire education of your tenants is a crucial part of being a professional landlord. It doesn’t matter if you are an established landlord or if this is your first building to rent. Not to mention, you have a legal and ethical obligation to do so. Providing proper fire safety education can mean the difference between someone safely using their stove versus incorrectly using the stove and starting a fire.
5 Fire Safety Tips to Educate Tenants
There’s so much information out there that it can be difficult to know how to navigate the world of fire safety with your tenants. It’s important to know where to start. Follow this advice to learn how you can provide the best methods for keeping your building and tenants safe and secure from fires.
Educate yourself on fire safety act regulations before you lease.
The US Government has a detailed document of what is expected of you, the landlord, to maintain building and tenant safety. This document also includes codes and regulation requirements that your building must meet prior to leasing it out. Included are the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler systems, properly marked emergency fire exits, fire extinguishers. If applicable, have emergency signs in and around all elevators.
Do a safety inspection of your building.
Fires are preventable. Knowing how fires start is the first step in arming your tenants will the knowledge on how to avoid them. Most fires in leased homes and commercial buildings are caused by faulty wiring, cables, and plugs. Washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers are also to blame. It’s important to make note of all potential fire hazards as you walk through your building. There have been cases of fires being caused by mirrors being left in direct sunlight. Replace and repair issues as you see fit. Conduct regular walk-throughs and maintenance on all appliances, wiring, lighting, etc. will do a lot to prevent fires.
How to conduct fire safety education and training for your tenants.
Many fires in buildings may be caused by the above-listed issues, but many are also caused by human error. Teaching your tenants about these common causes and how to avoid them will make them more aware, prevent more fires, and ultimately save lives (and properties). It has been noted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that the leading causes of fires in homes includes candles being left unattended, smoking, and cooking (especially with oil or in a turkey fryer). Fires are a bigger risk by those who are also hoarders.
Schedule a walk-through with your tenants.
Do a safety walk through with all of your tenants and their families to help them understand the fire evacuation plan. Before the walk-through, hand each tenant a copy of your printable fire escape plan template, complete with marked emergency exits and routes. Point out all fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and smoke detectors. If your tenant is responsible for testing their own smoke detectors and replacing batteries, show them how to do so. Make sure they know how to contact you should an alarm expire and needs to be replaced. Include tenants children when providing education on where emergency exits, fire ladders, and fire escapes are. Don’t forget to show them how to quickly unlatch windows. You can even provide special kid-friendly handouts to make learning about the evacuation plan fun and not cause worry or distress.
Have regular safe and well visits.
It’s important to check in with tenants on a regular basis to keep their units in good working order. Set up fire safety drills so tenants know where to go and what to do in case of a fire. If they have children, elderly, or disabled people in their household, the practice ensures everyone is knowledgeable, calm, and safe should a fire occur.
Educating your tenants on fire safety is important for the safety of your building too. Teaching tenants how to avoid starting a fire and safety tips will lessen the number of annual tenant-related fires. Overall, this will lead to your tenants feeling safer, more confident and satisfied in you as a landlord.
Has Fire Damage or Smoke Damage Affected Your Rental Property?
Contact Alpha-Omega Disaster Restoration. The most important thing during a rental property fire is your tenants’ safety. The second most important thing is to mitigate the damage from the fire, smoke, soot, and water used to put the fire out. At Alpha Omega, we have a trained, certified, and licensed emergency response team available 24/7 to assess your situation, make a plan, and work directly with your insurance company. We’ll restore your rental property as quickly and safely as possible, to get your tenants back into their home.