With winter well and truly on its way, many people have already started lighting their fires to stay warm. It is a good time of year to think about and discuss fire prevention with your tenants. Make sure they are aware of fire safety and maybe install new batteries into their smoke alarms each time to have a house inspection.
As a landlord, you must carry out fire risk assessments in all areas of their properties. This process will identify any fire hazards and who is at risk and decide if anything needs to be done to remove or reduce that risk.
Some tenants are higher-risk than others so knowing who your tenants are and what their needs are will go a long way in ensuring their safety and the safety of your property. If your tenants include families with small children, elderly or disabled make sure you take the time to visit them and make sure they are ok and address any concerns they may have.
Here are a few things to keep an eye on:
If your rental has a fireplace make sure it meets safety requirements. In winter, when tenants want to light fires, the fireplace can be a hazard if proper precautions aren’t taken. Make sure the chimney gets cleaned and checked before winter starts, and provide a fire guard to prevent sparks landing on the carpet.
With the amount of electronics we have these days – laptop, iPod, iPad, and cellphone – it’s easy to overload the circuits. If necessary, get your tenants to invest in a well-made power bar that they can use to plug-in their devices. Many power bars come with a surge-guard, which is particularly helpful during a power outage due to a storm. Sometimes sudden jolts in electrical currents can not only ruin electrical equipment, but they also can cause fires.
This one is a biggie. Tenants often cause fires in rentals by not watching the stove when they are cooking. When you carry out inspections, check the stove to make sure it has been property cleaned and there are no fire hazards around. Install fire extinguishers in places they can easily be accessed.
Try this home fire safety checklist to see if your rental meets the requirements.
What other things can you be doing to ensure your rental is safe for your tenants?