One of the biggest challenges property managers face is getting tenants to follow best practices when it comes to safety and security. Fire and water are the two most common causes of property damage and two of the biggest threats to tenant safety so it's vital to educate your tenants on best practices.
In this post, we explore the importance of tenants implementing best practices for fire safety and preventing water damage. We will also provide property managers with some effective strategies to educate their tenants on these practices.
& Water Damage
Fire safety is a critical concern in any residential property, and the consequences of a fire can be devastating. According to the National Fire Protection Association, "fires caused 3,800 civilian fire deaths and 14,700 reported civilian fire injuries" in 2021 alone. The property damage caused by these fires was estimated at $15.9 billion.
Water damage is another significant issue that poses risks to both property and tenants. According to Water Damage Defense, "almost 40% of all homeowners have said that they have experienced loss from water damage." It's not just the property at risk but the potential health hazards it can cause.
Moisture and standing water contribute to mold growth, which can lead to severe respiratory problems if not promptly addressed. The Insurance Information Institute notes that water damage claims are the second most common insurance claim filed by homeowners, averaging $10,234 per claim. The cumulative cost of these claims is a staggering $13 billion annually!
Knowledge is Power
As a property manager, you can (and should) educate your tenants on fire safety and water damage best practices.
Some of the key area of knowledge every tenant should be informed about include:
Fire evacuation plans
How to report a leak
Proper use of appliances to avoid leaks and fires
Responding to water damage, including knowing when to call a professional
Smart water preservation tactics like turning off faucets while brushing teeth
If you utilize any of FireAvert's property safety tools—such as FireAvert smoke alarm monitors or WaterAvert leak monitors—be sure to inform your tenants. One of the best things about these products is that they don't require any effort from tenants so just letting tenants know they are installed and that they shouldn't be tampered with will ensure they get the job done.
As a property manager, there are a lot ways to educate your tenants on best practices for fire safety and water damage prevention. You should include key safety information in all tenant move-in packages and find ways to incentivize tenants to read through it. Moving is a stressful task so tenants are likely to feel overwhelmed already. For example, you could create a simple and free online quiz and offer a small prize for all those that pass.
It's also important to provide regular reminders via email or text messages. You could offer incentives, such as discounts on rent, to tenants who complete fire safety or water damage prevention checklists annually or semi-annually. Maybe you decide to hold informational meetings with free pizza or snacks for tenants to learn about these best practices and ask questions.
The benefits of tenants implementing best practices for fire safety and water damage prevention extend beyond just avoiding injury and property damage. There are also cost savings to be had.
Apartment complexes with fire sprinklers installed, for example, can receive a 5% to 20% discount on their insurance premiums, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Additionally, effective water damage prevention can reduce the number of insurance claims made, resulting in lower insurance premiums for the property owner.
That's an obvious benefit for property owners but those savings can also be passed down to tenants in the form of lower rent, smaller security deposits, or additional amenities at no extra cost to the tenant. Communicating that to tenants is a great way to motivate them to act more responsibly in their individual units.
Simple But Not Easy
None of the above suggestions are complicated, but that doesn't mean this is an easy task. It takes consistent effort but, as a property manager, it's crucial to prioritize the safety and security of your tenants by educating them on best practices for fire safety and water damage prevention.