“According to the New York Times, 2018’s early fire season is the new normal because more than a hundred wildfires flared up only in the United States.”
The destructive fires are levelling homes and structures to ash, abolishing forests, hillsides and fields; not to mention ending precious lives. On August 10th, 2018, the National Interagency Fire Agency briefed over a hundred active fires flaring up to more than a million acres in the U.S. and most are in the western states. This specific number frequently changes almost every day as fires are extinguished and new incidents occur during hot summer months.
Once started, a wildfire can rip across the commercial and residential community and there isn’t much to do than listening to the evacuation orders and take appropriate safety precautions as directed. Still, before the fire triggers, there’re certain steps owners and managers of gated community living should take to ensure maximum safety and preparation against the fire season.
Tenants and residents must be informed by the responsible authorities on proper safety measures to take during fire season. Fire prevention strategies include preparing the Dubai property units inside out. Here’s a brief of some of the most important tips and safety measures to exercise.
Interior fire safety
- Smoke detectors & alarms
Every floor, each bedroom, sleeping area and surrounding, every space should be equipped with smoke detectors and alarm system. Being a landlord or housing provider, you’re responsible to distribute functional smoke detectors in residential units as per the local and state laws. These alarms need to be checked every month and this particular aspect should be included in the lease or purchase agreement as a legal clause to cope immediately with out of order systems. In addition, it’s always preferred to personally test the smoke alarms during routine inspections.
- Fire extinguisher
On every floor of your home, it’s always good to have at least a single fire extinguisher. Real estate managers and landlords again are responsible to choose and supply fire extinguishers to the respective tenants. The lease agreement should clearly mention as to who’s responsible in keeping the fire extinguisher maintained if supplied by the owner or manager.
Carefully review the state laws and make sure if you’re required to provide a fire extinguisher. While most of the states require carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, the laws against fire extinguishing equipment is different. Multifamily and gated community living units however are an exception where state laws or codes require fire extinguishers at the exterior entrance and in the hallways.
Irrespective of the fact whether you provide fire extinguisher or not, it’s your duty to remind the tenants about important fire safety devices and their significance during the emergency situation.
- Viable escape plan
Aware the tenants about the importance of a well-devised and strategic fire escape and safety plan and do encourage them to make one. As a manager, you’re responsible to brief the tenants and residents with essential fire safety information.
An escape plan includes when and how to communicate with household members should the emergency situation arises, identification of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, outline routes and points for different fire conditions, train them on using escape ladder and other elements if necessary.
Hold the meeting in a community place and also make the plan easy enough for the children to understand as well. Also include details of fire safety shelters where residents should go in case of a fire breakout.
- Documents & valuables
When disaster strikes, insurance would prove extremely valuable in replacing essential belongings that are demolished by the fire. To get the most of the policy, it’s better to list down comprehensive inventory of the things. In case of tenants, they’ll rely on the renter’s insurance policy which helps them in replacing the basic items to make a living.
Due to frequent climate change and raging wildfire incidents across the world, it’s wise to brief the residents and tenants on fire safety, how to list the valuables and come prepared.