As a landlord, managing properties and making sure your tenants are happy is essential. A happy tenant is often a loyal tenant, one willing to remain with you and pay their way, causing as little trouble as possible.
Yet it’s also true that as a landlord, quick efforts towards worthwhile maintenance repairs, upgrading the property where available and ensuring your tenants are safe is essential. Of course, there are many measures you must consider, and sometimes your local council or housing authority will come to inspect the premises to make sure it’s feasible for renting to others.
Perhaps one of the foremost fire safety topics to become aware of is that of fire safety, and the measures undertaken to foolproof this for your tenants. We not only need to help them reduce the chance of a fire ever being possible, but give them the right tools to fight it if safe to do so, to report it soundly, and evacuate the building via as many access routes as possible. Let’s consider some advice for achieving exactly that:
Make Certain Every Kind Of Fire Can Be Tackled
It’s important to be clear that if your tenant needs to evacuate, they need to evacuate, and they must never be expected to fight all fires and make sure that none of them ever spread. Sometimes, this is not feasible. However, it’s important for them to have access to the tools to do so, on the off chance that a small issue can be snuffed out before a larger one is present.
Making certain every kind of fire can be tackled is key. This means providing a co2 fire extinguisher for electrical fires (and clearly denoting to use this one in that case), fire blankets, and a regular extinguisher, clearly marked, can be helpful. This will ensure that most fires can be at least grappled with slightly so that someone can leave the property easily and without injury.
Emergency Lighting & Signage
When a fire alarm goes off, it’s important for your tenants to leave the property, no matter the time of day. Emergency lighting that switches on and can illuminate the space, often with green lighting for clear visibility, and appropriate fire exit signage (perhaps to an exterior exit outside the normal entranceway) can make a big difference. This is especially important in buildings with apartment blocks.
If you run a house with multiple occupancies, then there’s a great chance that housing inspectors will make themselves known and encourage you to make improvements where this is most essential. This could mean implementing more fire exit signs, or ensuring that new fire doors are placed between rooms. The latter can help prevent fires from spreading for a matter of hours, allowing the emergency department to arrive better and enact a plan before it gets out of hand.
Provide More Than One Escape Route
In many cases, housing authorities will be concerned that each apartment or building is given more than one escape route out of the property if needed. A ground-floor apartment, for example, may offer the main door and two windows that can be comfortably escaped through.
A top-floor apartment with only one door may need a second door installed, and a wall opening created for that purpose so that if one entranceway is blocked off, another can be moved through. Investing in such a provision may seem like a tiresome need, but if it can save a life, it can save a life, and there’s nothing more important or as much of a worthwhile investment as that.
Regular Fire Alarm Testing
It’s worth being over vigilant in terms of how much you test the centralized fire safety equipment linked to each apartment or covering the house, as well as checking every alarm in the place.
This can also be a good opportunity to check on your Co2 detectors, which are not necessarily related to your fire, but will certainly help keep your residents protected against a gas leak should it happen.
Regular fire alarm testing is simple, but you’d be surprised just how many ineffective landlords can ignore such an essential utility and provision. Again, even if you have to go out of your way, the chance of saving lives is not only an essential moral task but a good business decision for someone trying to rent to people.
With this advice, you’re sure to implement better fire safety protocols in your properties and, as such, may just help protect your tenants and their guests against worst-case scenarios.