fire safety for rental property

12 Tips On Fire Safety For Rental Property Owners

Taking care of fire safety for rental property is one of the most important duties of a property owner. That’s because fires are dangerous and can lead not only to the loss of property but also to the loss of life. Even if your insurance policy covers fires, it’s still crucial to follow proper fire safety regulations for landlords.


Who Is Responsible for Fire Safety in Rented Property?

The property owner or landlord is generally responsible for fire safety for rental property.  That’s because under Florida Statutes Section 83.51, landlords are legally required to comply with the requirements of applicable housing and building codes. They are also required to keep common areas safe.

Hence, the property owner or landlord must follow proper landlord fire safety regulations and ensure no fires arise due to their negligence. If a fire does occur because of their negligent action or inaction, they may face legal liability.


Fire Safety for Rental Property: The Best Tips for Landlords and Property Owners

Landlords and property owners must diligently keep their properties and tenants safe. Here are a few tips landlords can follow.


florida fire code1. Follow the Fire Code

Each state may have its own fire code that property owners and landlords should abide by. In Florida, landlords may refer to the Florida Fire Prevention Code. Certain counties may also provide local fire codes for residential homes or buildings.

Landlords and property owners should take the time to study these codes to ensure they won’t be liable for any fires that may occur in their rental properties. Alternatively, they may consult a management company to ensure they abide by these codes.


2. Educate Occupants on Fire Safety

Teaching tenants the right fire safety information can save them in dangerous situations. Hence, landlords should take the time to educate their tenants on what to do in case fires do occur. Make sure to instruct them on how to access and use the fire extinguisher. Moreover, remember to teach them where the fire escape routes are and how to get to safety.


3. Inspect the Smoke Detectors

Unless otherwise agreed upon, landlords of single-family or duplex homes in Florida must install working smoke detectors. But, fire safety for rental properties does not stop at installation. Landlords also have to maintain these installations during the tenancy.

In fact, inspecting the property’s smoke detectors should be at the top of the fire safety for rental property checklist. That’s because working smoke detectors can save the lives of tenants. As such, remember to test the smoke detectors and replace the batteries every year. Landlords should also consider hiring staff or a property management agent that can conduct regular inspections.


4. Consider a Smoking Prohibition

Smoking tenants can be a real threat to fire safety in rented property. That’s why we recommend banning smoking altogether in your lease agreements. This can prevent fires and even protect you from liability if tenants from other units complain about second-hand smoke. It also protects your unit’s reputation, as smoke can make the property unattractive to potential tenants.


property rental fire sprinklers5. Install Sprinklers

Sprinklers can greatly reduce the impact of fires that do occur in your rental property. They keep fires from spreading and buy time for the tenant to escape. This limits property damage and keeps tenants safe from harm.


6. Ensure Access to Escape Routes

Landlords must ensure tenants have a safe and reliable escape route in case of fire. That’s why many install fire escape windows in rented properties. You may also install or implement other escape measures like stairways on the sides of buildings. Furthermore, ensure these escape routes are accessible to all tenants on every floor.

In addition, property owners must remember to install emergency lighting in the building. Remember to use fire-resistant materials and make sure all emergency lighting is operational. Also, make sure to regularly inspect the emergency lights so that they work in case of a crisis.


7. Install Fire-Safe Furnishings

Any furniture or furnishings provided by the landlord must meet fire safety standards. It’s also a good idea to use fire-resistant materials for these furnishings. Of course, this may not be possible for all kinds of furniture, such as mattresses, bed frames, and bed covers. But it’s a good idea to keep everything fire-resistant as much as possible.


fire safety for rental property checklist8. Provide Fire Blankets and Extinguishers

Are fire blankets a legal requirement? Not necessarily. No law explicitly requires landlords to supply tenants with fire blankets and fire extinguishers in Florida. But it’s still a good idea to provide these to tenants, especially for apartment buildings. Ensure to provide at least one fire extinguisher per floor or in each kitchen.

Moreover, remember to inspect the fire extinguishers before the tenancy starts. Landlords should also recheck the fire extinguishers periodically during their regular inspections.


9. Conduct an Electrical Safety Inspection

Part of the landlord’s duty is to ensure all the electrical wiring, fuse boxes, and sockets are properly working. That’s because any failure in these electrical installations may lead to potential fires or accidents. Remember to inspect these at least once every five years.


10. Test the Appliances

Landlords should test all the electrical appliances they provide to their tenants. Make sure these appliances are in proper working order. If any of them are faulty, make sure to repair or replace the appliance in question.


11. Check for Gas Safety

Gas is a highly flammable and volatile resource. Hence, landlords need to check any gas equipment installed or provided in the unit. Do this before the start of any tenancy. Likewise, remember to conduct regular inspections for all the gas equipment.


rental property fire insurance12. Purchase Insurance

Fires are largely preventable, but they may still happen. That’s why we recommend purchasing landlord insurance with fire coverage. This can help landlords and property owners reduce the cost of repairing any property damaged by fire. It may also cover the cost of temporary tenant rehousing and the loss of rental income.


Keep Your Property and Tenants Safe

Fire safety for rental property should be of utmost priority for landlords and property owners. Not only will preventing fires protect your tenants but also your investment.

But, maintaining a property and ensuring it complies with fire safety regulations can be challenging when done alone. That’s why we recommend hiring a property management company to take care of it for you. Look through our online directory to find the best property management company today!