House fires in Arizona have increased by 20% compared to last year. As a property owner in Phoenix, this should act as a warning to prioritize fire safety and prevent fire damage to your investment property.
While you probably learned fire safety tips as a child, it can be easy to overlook dangerous fire hazards as an adult. As a landlord protecting your valuable rental property asset, there are some extra fire prevention steps that you may not have thought about.
In addition to putting tenants in danger, the consequences of fire damage to your Phoenix rental property could also cause your insurance premium to increase, along with taking months to rebuild. Those are months you’re not producing any rental income.
Common House Fire Starters
Before we can dive into the fire prevention tips, it’s important to understand the most common causes of house fires in Phoenix rental properties.
While lighting some candles for a romantic dinner or a cozy night in may set the perfect atmosphere, they are one of the leading causes of fires.
If your tenant is rushing out the door for a meeting or falls asleep and forgets a candle is lit, the open flame could spread. It is also possible that the candle is placed too close to a flammable item that can catch fire and cause damage to your property.
Stoves and Ovens
It’s likely you have forgotten to shut off a stove or oven at least once in your life. For some tenants, this could be a more likely occurrence.
Leaving a stovetop or oven on for too long, especially with food cooking, increases your chances of a fire starting in the house. Frying food in hot oil can also contribute to a house fire.
Another typical cause of house fires in Phoenix is outdoor grills. While barbecuing hamburgers and hotdogs on a nice sunny day in Arizona, the dry air and having the grill too close to the house is a fire hazard and could potentially start a fire.
If an appliance has faulty wiring or an outlet has too many appliances plugged in, it could overcharge the current and cause a house fire.
This can especially happen if there are not enough outlets in the property or during the holidays when people plug in more lights and electronics.
Important Ways to Prevent Fire Damage to Your Property
Now that we know some of the main triggers of a rental house fire, it’s time to learn how Phoenix landlords can prevent them from happening and avoid putting tenants in danger or destroying their valuable real estate assets.
1. Keep the Rental Property Up to Code
Being a property owner in Phoenix comes with the responsibility of keeping it up to code with local regulations. Along with the structure and wiring of the house, there are much more simple requirements that you must follow.
Landlords must have smoke alarms in each bedroom and on each level of the home. They must also abide by other fire safety and prevention regulations to be compliant with local laws.
Following fire safety regulations and local ordinances will not only keep your tenant and your property safe but also protect you from costly fines or possible lawsuits.
2. Fire Extinguishers in Rental Properties
To get a handle on a fire that has started quickly, it’s essential to have easy access to fire extinguishers in your property. The best place to keep a fire extinguisher is in or close to the kitchen. If it’s a single-family home, you might also want to put a fire extinguisher in the garage.
If a fire starts on the stove or in the oven, or due to a candle somewhere else, your tenants will have quick access to extinguish it. It’s also important to make sure tenants know where fire extinguishers are located and that they know how to use the specific ones available to them.
3. No Candle Policy in Rental Property
As a landlord, your goal is to protect your investment while providing a safe place for tenants to live. One way to do this is to add a no-candle policy to your lease.
Earlier, we discussed how open-flame candles are a leading cause of house fires. Therefore, eliminating candles in your property can reduce the chances of a fire.
Instead, allow your tenants to use electric wax warmers or an essential oil diffuser if they wish to have an aromatic atmosphere. Battery-powered LED candles can also provide a nice ambiance.
4. Install an Automatic Sprinkler System
Some property owners choose to install a sprinkler system that is connected to the smoke detectors. If there are flames detected, the sprinklers will activate and suppress the fire until the local fire department arrives.
Adding automatic fire prevention and safety equipment like a sprinkler system to your property could also help you save a considerable amount on insurance premiums.
5. Regular Fire Safety Checks and Inspections
It’s a good idea to conduct a home inspection, including a fire safety check, every couple of months to ensure the property is well-maintained and free from fire hazards. You can do this yourself, ask your Phoenix property manager, or hire a professional inspector.
During these fire safety checks, you should check that appliances are working properly, cords are not frayed or broken, smoke alarms and fire alarms are active, fire safety equipment is up-to-date, and your tenants are following the fire prevention rules you put in the lease.
6. Install Automatic Stovetop Suppressors
We’ve determined that one of the leading causes of house fires is from the stove or oven. By installing an affordable automatic stovetop suppressor, you can rest assured your property is protected from intense fire damage.
Placed above the stove, this device will use a non-water substance to extinguish any flames when detected. Along with smoke detectors and sprinkler systems, it’s a great investment for landlords to better protect their Phoenix property and keep their tenants safe.
7. Write Fire Safety Regulations and Guidelines in the Lease
Before your tenant moves into your Phoenix property, have a guide written with the fire safety rules you expect them to follow, including being clear on whose responsibility it is to change the batteries in smoke detectors. You can also add these fire safety and fire prevention rules to the lease.
Providing fire safety tips to your tenants in written form will remind them to be careful and have something to look back on if they need a reminder. For more fire safety tips, check with your local fire department.
Stay Up to Code With A Phoenix Property Manager
You’ve worked hard for your Phoenix rental property; now it’s time to protect it from fire damage and other kinds of profit loss by staying up to code and legally compliant.
The best way for property owners to protect and maintain their rental property’s value and ROI is to work with a professional Phoenix property management company, like Brewer & Stratton Property Management.
As the leading property managers in Phoenix, we are dedicated to keeping your property compliant and up to code, your tenants happy, and maximizing the income from your real estate investment.
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