I’m not talking fires brought on by mother nature, I’m talking about fires that have been influence by your tenants. Fires are deadly and cause a lot of damage to your rental property. The lights on your Christmas tree can start fires if you’re not careful, but I want to talk more generally today, in fact it’s not so much the How fires start, but Who starts them. You may be fully insured and if there were such an incident you would be covered, but even still, it creates a lot of heartaches and headaches for you and your tenants.
But there is a way to help prevent them – other than just smoke alarms – knowing who your tenants are and working with them to prevent fires.
There are groups of people who are generally at a higher risk of injury or death because of fires. If you have tenants that fall in one (or more) of these groups, work extra hard to keep them safe and your property from harm. Discuss fire prevention, maybe install new batteries into their smoke alarms each time to have a house inspection, and send friendly reminders about fire safety.
Pay special attention if your tenants include:
Toddlers get into mischief and anything and everything is played with. Make sure you remind their parents to keep lighters and matches out of reach at all times. When visiting you can mention the smoke alarms as a way to bring up the topic of fire safety.
Non-English Speaking Citizens
Non-English speakers are at higher risk due to communication barriers. It is hard for immigrants to be able to be able to read safety instructions. Try and work with interpreters or community groups to ensure your tenants have a safe and happy welcome to Australia.
With a limited range of motion and suffering from cold more easily, the elderly can easily make mistakes and not be in a position to correct them which can lead to fire. Work with these tenants to make sure they have adequate support form family and carers to prevent any mishaps.
It only goes to reason that disabled tenants are at a disadvantage, either not being able to hear smoke alarms or not being able to react to the danger through impaired mobility.
If you have tenants who fit into one of these groups then it makes sense to keep them safe – along with your property.
What do you think, do you think it’s your duty to ensure safety (beyond the mandated rules), or is the tenant to take fully responsible?