As students line up for rental housing this fall, landlords are reminded of the need to educate tenants about fire safety.
“Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility,” says Orillia Fire Chief Ralph Dominelli. “Landlords and students each have responsibilities to reduce the risk of fire and its catastrophic repercussions.”
Landlords across the country, even those who do not routinely rent to students or first-time tenants, should take the responsibility seriously. When going through your new tenant orientation, point out common fire dangers, including:
Using extension cords to power portable devices. Multiple cords should not be linked together, strung under carpeting, or placed near walkways;
Bars on windows. Ask new tenants to practice opening window bars or other barriers that may be in the rental property while you are there to assist;
Burning candles, cigarettes. Left attended or improperly discarded, these are to blame for many apartment fires. Address your policies, and warn tenants of the potential danger;
Carbon monoxide. Often, this poisonous gas is generated from cars running in attached garages, or warming cars outdoors under another resident’s window. Use of charcoal in fireplaces is another common source;
Tampering with smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. Make your tenants agree to leave these safety devices in place.
It’s a landlord’s responsibility to make sure the rental unit meets the local fire code. Chief Dominelli suggests contacting the local fire department for assistance. In Orillia, there is no charge for an inspection.
Keep properties adequately warm. The improper use of space heaters or other appliances to heat the home can spark apartment fires.
Equip each rental property with fire alarms. These devices are inexpensive and, in the event of a fire, offer a few precious seconds of warning that can make the difference between a safe escape and a deadly disaster.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.