• Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers in each unit of the rental property and common areas of the building.
• Consider adding a fire sprinkler system to the rental property for better protection against larger fires.
• Electric latch retraction should be installed on exit doors so they can be opened in case of power failure or other emergencies.
• Backup generators, emergency lighting systems, and property surveillance can provide added protection if a power outage occurs.
Safety should be a top priority for any rental property. Rental properties should have features in place to protect the property’s occupants, visitors, and assets. There are features you can add to your rental property that will keep your tenants safe in an emergency. Here’s a look at some safety and emergency features that should be considered when managing a rental property.
For Fire Emergencies
No matter how careful and responsible tenants are, fires can still occur in rental properties. This is why ensuring the property is equipped with safeguards and features to help protect against fire-related hazards is important. Here are the essentials:
Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke detectors are one of the most important safety features you can add to your rental property. They are not only required by law in many states but also provide invaluable protection against fire-related disasters. Similarly, carbon monoxide detectors may not be mandatory at the state level, but they are essential for keeping tenants safe from this odorless, colorless gas. Be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in every unit of your rental property and common areas such as hallways or stairwells.
Fire Extinguishers & Fire Sprinklers
Another important feature you should consider adding to your rental property is a fire extinguisher or sprinkler system (or both). Aside from being required by law to have a fire extinguisher, they can be used by responsible tenants in case of a small fire. Fire extinguishers are relatively inexpensive and easy to install; ensure each unit has its fire extinguisher so tenants can quickly access it in an emergency.
Fire sprinkler systems are also essential for larger fires. They will help contain the blaze and reduce the risk of spreading quickly to other units or areas. These systems are more expensive but will ensure complete coverage across your entire building—an invaluable benefit if a fire occurs.
Electric Latch Retraction
Electric latch retraction is a feature that can help with emergency egress in the case of an electric power failure. This is installed on exit doors, allowing them to be opened from the inside without a key. This latch will allow tenants to quickly open the door even if electric locks are engaged, providing them quick access to safety. Additionally, it will prevent electric lock systems from locking people in, a major hazard in an emergency.
In Case of Power Outages
Power outages can be especially hazardous in a rental property; they leave tenants without power and can lead to other issues, such as temperature changes or water pressure drops. Here are some features you should consider adding:
Backup generators provide an invaluable power source during outages and can help tenants stay safe if the power goes out. These generators provide a reliable source of electricity that can keep essential systems running, such as lighting and heating/cooling units. Make sure that it can power the entire building or at least the most essential areas.
Emergency Lighting Systems
In a power outage or other emergency situations, these systems will provide illumination so tenants can exit the building safely. Furthermore, if the outage occurs during nighttime hours when visibility is limited, these lights can be lifesavers for those trying to find their way out quickly and safely. It is best if these are powered by solar or battery power so they will remain active for long periods.
Property surveillance systems can help ensure your rental property is secure and monitored around the clock. It also puts tenants’ minds at ease, knowing there is extra security in any emergency. Here are the basic features to look for in property surveillance systems:
- Motion detectors: These will detect any suspicious activity on the premises and alert you or the proper authorities.
- Security cameras: These will provide a visual record of any activities or events occurring on your rental property, allowing you to monitor it from afar.
- Alarms/Sirens: These are important for alerting tenants and neighbors of any suspicious activity, as well as drawing attention to the situation.
- Access control systems: Restrict access to certain areas of the property with keypad entry or other technologies.
Keeping your tenants safe is of the utmost importance. By adding these safety and emergency features to your rental property, you can be sure that your tenants will be secure in case of any unexpected disaster or event. Start today and ensure your rental property is outfitted with all the necessary safety features.