It is every property owner’s nightmare call: your property has caught fire. Whether caused by accident, or due to negligence, a house fire is devastating to everyone involved. What can you do for yourself and your tenants to ensure your fireplace and other areas around your rental property are protected against house fires? Below we explore how to reduce your risk of a house fire.
Fireplace Grime and How to Get Rid of It
Let’s face it, Fort Worth doesn’t get too cold in the winter. You may use your home’s fireplace 2-3 times per year. When you don’t use a fireplace regularly, you may think it’s not a big deal if you don’t clean it regularly either. However, your chimney still needs to be cleaned to prevent a chimney fire. The residue that covers the inside of your chimney is called creosote, and it can start to build up after just one fire. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America “All forms [of creosote] are highly combustible. If it builds up in sufficient quantities – and the internal flue temperature is high enough – the result could be a chimney fire.” To make sure your fireplace doesn’t collect this creosote and catch fire, the Chimney Safety Institute of America and your property management in Fort Worth, recommend a regular chimney inspection.
Inspections are Key
Without a proper inspection from a professional, you are putting your property and your tenants’ lives at risk. That is why the experts in residential property management Fort Worth recommend your rental home fireplace get an inspection at least once every year. A licensed and certified chimney sweep can perform the inspection as well as routine maintenance and any needed repairs. If, for some reason, you are unable to schedule an inspection before the first cold spell, you need to communicate to your tenants that they should hold off on using the fireplace until after the inspection. If you want to learn more about chimney fires, chimney safety, or how to find a certified chimney sweep, visit the Chimney Safety Insitute of America.
Fire Safety in Other Areas
Of course, your fireplace isn’t the only area in your rental property that carries a fire risk. Your regular property inspection should turn up potential hazards if you know what you’re looking for. Here is a list of things your residential property management Fort Worth recommends checking for fire safety:
- Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: these save lives. Make sure they stay attached, and the batteries are working.
- Fire Extinguishers: always have at least one fire extinguisher in your rental home, more if the home is large.
- Electrical Safety: make sure all the electrical outlets are up to code, and you have GFCI outlets installed where they are needed. Always hire a licensed electrician to resolve electrical issues.
- Properly Functioning Doors and Windows: if a door or window to the outside won’t open your tenant could be stuck if there is a fire. Make sure all doors and windows open easily, especially if they aren’t used frequently.
- Inspect and Clean Dryer Vent: when your dryer vent is not cleaned regularly, it can store up lint which can easily catch fire. A certified technician can inspect your dryer, clean out lint, and extend the life of your dryer.
Safety is a Priority
Owning rental property is a delicate balance of spending enough money to keep your home nice and your tenants happy, but not too much so you have negative cash flow. Many landlords aren’t sure where to cut corners, and often skip fire safety to save money. However, if you compare the low costs of regular inspections and once a year fireplace sweeps to the high cost of your investment burning to the ground, inspections are more than worth it.
For Better Residential Property Management, Fort Worth Landlords Need Property Managers
Property management in Fort Worth is easier and more successful when you hire professional property managers. A Fort Worth property manager has years of experience you can use to your advantage, including trusted vendors who can take care of any fire safety issues at your property. An experienced property manager will help you cut back on expenses without making costly, and sometimes life-threatening, mistakes. Specialized Property Management Fort Worth has proven processes in place when it comes to leasing, inspections, maintenance, and more. These processes are designed to decrease vacancy days, reduce tenant turnover, and keep your home in great shape. With our residential property management, Fort Worth landlords can cut costs without neglecting the things that matter to their rental property. For more information or to schedule your free rental consultation, call Specialized Property Management Fort Worth today.