As a Kirkland property manager, it is your legal responsibility to keep your tenants and your property safe and that means taking as many steps as possible to prevent the risk of fire. While you probably know that you do need a fire inspection before renting out a unit, and you have probably already passed that test, you have to be extra careful during the colder months, especially with tenants using heaters, radiators, or central air to warm the unit. The following include five tips from your local Kirkland property management company for preventing fire.
Perform a Fire Risk Assessment
Whether you hire someone to go in and assess your units (which is the best idea), or go in and individually assess each unit for fire risks and hazards is up to you, but make sure you check to see what risks are there. Fire risks include old dryers, old heating units, insulation and bedding too close to heating vents, heaters or electrical wires, and a variety of other factors. Consider visiting the Kirkland city hall to find ask for a local risk assessment checklist you can use to help out but consider having a professional come in and look as well.
Consider Investing in Fire Doors
Fire doors are a must for large apartment complexes because they contain fires started in one complex. If the walls are reasonably fire resistant rather than wood, a fire door should be able to contain most of the fire so that it stays in the unit it started in rather than blasting through your whole complex. Just ensure that they are installed by a professional and certified for containing fires.
Outfit Each Unit with Fire Prevention Devices
Your Kirkland units are required by law to be outfitted with a Co2 detector but you should also install smoke detectors in every room with a heater or stove and consider supplying a fire extinguisher as well. More safety devices mean more warning for your tenants, and a better chance of the fire being put out without harming them or your property. A how-to manual and other safety gear is optional depending on your budget.
Perform Electrical Maintenance and Repairs
Faulty electronics are one of the main causes of residential fires so you should ensure that you have everything inspected and updated. This especially applies to heating appliances and dryers, which cause more fires than most other appliances. Consider bringing in a heat and air specialist to check up on all of your units before they start using the heat to ensure that they are still safe to use. Making this a yearly checkup will cost you money, but it also greatly reduces your chance of fire.
Consider Paying for a Fire Safety Class for Tenants
Did you know that you can pay for fire safety classes for your tenants? The Kirkland Fire Department also offers free courses on fire safety ranging from cooking to basic life-saving and fire prevention that you can request your tenants to take.