January 21, 2022
When most landlords think about the cataclysmic events that can lead to the demise of their rental properties they don’t typically think of fire. In fact, if you’re like most people, if the thought even crosses your mind, you probably think to yourself: “This can’t happen to me!” However, the fact of the matter is that it can happen to anyone, including you.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, from 2014 to 2018 there were approximately 2,620 civilian deaths; 11,030 civilian fire injuries; and $7.2 billion in direct property damage per year—all of which, points to the fact that fires are a much more common occurrence than you’d think.
Here are five tips to prevent your rental properties from falling victim to fires:
- Obey Local Fire Codes. It goes without saying that by doing this you’re not only keeping yourself from being negligent in the case of a fire, which could potentially harm not only your property but your tenants. This will also keep you from violating the terms of your landlord insurance. One example of following code is by making sure you have the proper number of smoke detectors installed in your property based on the requirements in your municipality.
- Establish House Rules. It’s more common than you’d think to have rules for your tenants–if you don’t have some in place already. Included in these rules can be the regulation that tenants are not to leave sources of heat or flame unattended, which can include stovetops, heating equipment, candles, and cigarettes.
- Provide Fire Extinguishers to Your Tenants. By putting fire extinguishers in the kitchen of your rental properties you can alleviate the risk of simple kitchen fires growing to set ablaze to the rest of your property. Quick tip: Fire extinguishers should be replaced every 12 years.
- Put a Smoking Ban in Place. The fact of the matter is smoking is a fire risk and the only way to rid yourself of this risk is by prohibiting it completely. You have the right to include in your lease agreement with your tenant that they are not allowed to smoke inside or outside of your property. Of course, you can only enforce this policy if it is included in the lease agreement at the time of signing—so make sure you include it in your renewals if it’s not already in your current lease agreements.
- Grilling Rules. Like smoking, you also have the right to prohibit your tenants from grilling around your rental property. If included in your original agreement with your tenant, you can choose to ban grilling outright or put in stipulations within your agreement that can prevent the risk associated with grilling. This includes not allowing your tenants to grill too close to the home, not grilling on balconies, not leaving grills unattended and making sure grills are property turned off after use.
Even with all these precautions in place at your rental properties the risk of a fire is always a possibility. However, by implementing even a few of these tips you can reduce your risk of fire significantly.