As a property manager or landlord in the Billings, Montana area, there are many things you do to keep your rental properties kept up and safe–creating a fire safety protection plan, winterizing your sidewalks and facilities, and spraying for bugs and critters. But when it comes to summertime fun, do you watch out for your renter’s grill use?
With summer comes many hazards for landlords, from regulating fireworks to keeping everyone safe if your rental has a pool. But with almost 20,000 people going to the hospital due to grilling accidents, it’s important that both you and your tenants understand the rules and regulations behind grill safety.
Are Gas Grills Dangerous?
About three-fifths of homes in the United States have a grill. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, over 8,800 fires are caused each year by outdoor grills. If you allow tenants to have grills, here are some issues they should be aware of to keep themselves and your rental property safe.
If faulty, cracked, or stuck, the grill ignition switch can cause gas to build up inside the grill hood. When your renter goes to light the gas, it can cause a fireball or small explosion to occur. This endangers your renter, as well as people and objects surrounding the grill. Before your renter starts grilling, make sure they follow a few grill safety steps. Ensure that the grill is at least 10 feet away from the home, it’s securely on level ground, and the ignition switch is working properly. Also, always make sure there is a fire extinguisher on hand.
Carbon monoxide poisoning from grill
As tenants use the grill, carbon monoxide gets released into the air. Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, and invisible gas. Unless you have a carbon monoxide detector next to the grill, it can be difficult to detect. As long as the grill is out in the open air andin a small space (like a closed in porch, covered deck, balcony, or indoors), this should be an issue. If the grill is in an enclosed area, the carbon monoxide can build up and create for a deadly environment. If your renter has a gas grill, remind them of the 10-foot rule and that it’s not enclosed at all.
If your renter has a gas grill with a propane tank, then this type of issue is particularly important to be aware of. Grills with propane tanks come with a valve that helps release gas should any pressure build up in the tank. As a safety mechanism, the grill doesn’t even have to be on for this venting to occur. However, on a particularly hot day in Billings or Yellowstone County, when the air is just right, the propane can vent near the grill versus away from it. This leaves conditions ripe for an explosion the moment there is any type of spark–lighter, cigarette, or match.
Old grill parts
Does your tenant have an older grill? Grills with older parts like valves, hoses, or tanks can wear out, weaken, and crack. Leaking hoses and worn out valves are big causes of explosions for grills. Avoid fire damage by regularly maintaining grills and replacing grill parts as needed.
Local Fire Codes: Montana Apartment Guidelines
Not sure you want your tenant to have a grill on your rental property? State and local laws might be in your favor. Billings, MT, has rules, regulations, and recommended grilling safety tips to prevent injuries and fires. Check your local laws to see if you have a choice as a landlord to prevent or allow outdoor grilling.
Did a Gas Grill Cause Fire Damage to 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. We’ll assess your situation, make a plan, and work directly with your insurance company. We want to restore your rental property as quickly and safely as possible, allowing tenants back into their home.