Smoking, candles, fireplaces, and grills — fires are a constant concern at every residential building. As a property manager or HOA member, it’s important to realize the responsibility you have to maintain a safe building for your residents. Get acquainted with these useful tips to help prevent fires from happening, keep residents safe, and minimize damage if a fire does occur.
Fire Risk Assessment
Carrying out a comprehensive fire risk assessment can help you identify the likely cause of a potential fire in your property or building. Be sure to have all heating equipment inspected professionally as well. This can also help you to create a viable fire prevention strategy and an escape plan. Some common causes of a rental property fire are candles, cooking equipment, fireplaces, and smoking, so establishing rules can also be beneficial.
Set Down Rules Regarding Smoking
As smoking is the top cause of civilian home fire deaths, as reported by the NFPA, it’s important to take specific measures against smoking in the residential property. Banning indoor smoking will also maintain your property’s value by preventing smoke-related damage and smells.
Examine Electrical Wiring
Be sure to have all electrical wiring professionally inspected. Understanding the common causes, warning signs and appropriate safety measures can help prevent an electrical fire in your home. Even if it turns out that you have to redo electrical wires, protecting your residents will be worth the expense.
Install and Inspect Smoke Alarms
In the event of a fire, smoke alarms can detect it faster than your tenants can, so be sure to install enough of them around the property or building. To ensure their reliability, fire alarm systems must be inspected, tested, and maintained regularly. It’s a good idea to consult with a fire protection company to find out what type of alarms, devices, sprinklers, and extinguishers you require as well as where to place them.
Create an Evacuation Plan
It’s always best to do your utmost to prevent a fire, but unfortunately, sometimes disasters are out of your control. Be sure to also prepare for an event of a fire. Identify possible evacuation exists during your property fire risk assessment and draw up an evacuation map highlighting these escape routes. Be sure to educate your residents, too.
Install Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers can help put out small fires — minimizing damage caused by minor accidental fires. In fact, some city ordinances may require you to install and regularly inspect fire extinguishers in your residential properties.
Keeping Your Building up to Code
Every Homeowners Association is responsible for the fire safety of its building. Organizing annual inspections and fire drills, installing a life-safety system, and enacting rules banning fire hazards are just a few things every HOA should do in order to keep the building up to code.
A professional property management company can help HOAs ensure the safety of their residents and their building. At Hales, we know how important it is for an association to run smoothly. If you’d like advice or input on your situation, we’re happy to help! Click here to reach out to us about Association Management services and someone in our team will be in touch with you.