Winter is a slow time of year for property managers when it comes to leasing. But maintenance and safety is a year-round job.
From carbon monoxide poisoning to residential fires, the winter season is chockablock full of safety hazards. Not even the best property manager can prevent every accident, but you can still be prepared to manage risks as they arise.
Consider the following serious winter risks property managers face and what you can do to reduce the chance of common accidents around your property.
Prepare your pipes
Keep your outdoor pipes and sprinkler systems from freezing by completely draining them. Cover your exterior pipes in unheated parts of your property or in common areas with foam pipe insulation.
Make sure that the interior pipes around your property are insulated. Frozen pipes can cause a whole slew of problems and can even keep low flush toilets, which only use 1.3 gallons per flush, from flushing.
Prohibit or limit the use of portable heaters
According to FEMA, residential fires cause the most injuries, fatalities, and property damage in any given year. House fires peak during the winter months and are commonly caused by cooking, electrical malfunctions, and candles.
Portable heaters and malfunctioning furnaces can also increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and deaths. Natural gas is the second most heavily consumed energy source in the country, but it can be dangerous if the equipment producing the gas is outdated.
If portable heaters are allowed in your property, make sure that they’re new models that are up to current safety standards. Have your furnaces serviced and encourage residents to report suspected problems immediately.
Install and check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be maintained periodically. Be sure that you install these detectors not only inside the rental property but also in hallways and garages.
Up to 77% of vehicles need maintenance and repairs, but even a vehicle in good condition can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if it’s left running inside the garage of a home. Carbon monoxide detectors help to reduce the risk of CO-related tragedies and 100% of the scrap created during the manufacturing process is recycled.
Prepare for snow and ice removal
Winter storms have already started popping up across the United States. If you’ve contracted snow and ice removal through a vendor, make sure that your contract is current and valid.
Call and shop around for rates on snow and ice removal services if you were unsatisfied with the performance of your current vendor last year.
It’s important to make sure that your property is ready for the winter weather. While you may not be able to prevent every problem, you can reduce the risk of winter-related disasters by being proactive with your property maintenance.