Fires are a property manager’s worst nightmare — and it’s not a baseless fear. Between 2009 and 2013, one in 335 homes reported a fire per year, and seven people died per day on average due to a house or apartment fire.

While sometimes fires are caused by circumstances out of our control, too often, they could have been avoided. As property managers, your tenants’ safety is first and foremost. Below are some of the top causes of apartment fires, and fire prevention tips for apartments. Through diligence and maintenance, you can ensure this devastating event never happens under your watch.

3 Common Causes of Apartment Fires

Dryer Vent Fires

Dryer lint is highly flammable, and it can quickly clog up a dryer vent. Combine this with extreme heat from the dryer and you have a recipe for disaster. Lint traps help lower the amount of lint that builds up in the vent, but you will eventually still have buildup.

The best way to prevent dryer vent fires is to get your dryer vents cleaned regularly. We recommend at least once a year or more. At Asurety, we provide the full spectrum of dryer inspection needs, including the cleaning of outside dryer vents, laundry room vents and mid-rise vents inside the units. We also highly recommend opting for a dryer vent inspection via camera. This allows us to see if there are breakages or other problems in your vents that could cause fire dangers, even without lint buildup. Call us today for full dryer vent inspection and service.

 

To prevent fire, get your dryer vents inspected and cleaned regularly.

Chimney Fires

Chimney fires are a huge cause of apartment fires. Wood smoke creates creosote, a thin layer of black gunk that coats the inside of your chimney. Creosote is also extremely flammable, so if you have a thick layer of it, an errant spark can set off a chimney fire. Other causes of chimney fires are blockages such as birds nests, which can easily happen in a chimney when the fireplace has not been used in a while.

To prevent chimney fires, have your chimney cleaned at least once a year, in the fall before you put your fireplace to use in the chilly months.

Asurety provides thorough, reliable chimney inspection, cleaning and sweeping. Don’t let your tenants light a fire until you’ve gotten the thumbs up from a reputable fireplace cleaning service such as Asurety!

 

Chimney fires are a leading cause of home and apartment fires.

Faulty Smoke Detectors

While usually not responsible for starting fires, faulty smoke detectors and often mean the difference between destructive fires and those caught in time. Fact: Fires in the U.S. are reported to most likely occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., typical sleeping hours. It follows then, that three out of every five home fire deaths were a result of a faulty or non-operational (dead battery) smoke alarm.

Smoke detectors come with recommendations for users to perform weekly routine tests on the device, but few adhere to such standards.

As a landlord, you have a responsibility, and in many states a legal obligation, to provide your tenants with operational smoke alarms in working order.

Make it a practice to do a quarterly visit of your tenant’s apartment to check safety issues and in particular, the smoke alarm. Consider that even one resident who does not test their smoke detector regularly is putting your whole apartment building or complex in danger.

 

Test your tenants

 

Because so much is at stake: property loss, litigation and human lives, we recommend incorporating a regular full maintenance schedule into your management model. Please contact Asurety to receive a checklist and pricing on our preventative maintenance plan customized for property managers.