The Block Is Hot
Making sure your fire extinguishers are able to help cool things down for your tenants.
One of the best things you can have in a home for all around safety purposes is a fire extinguisher. The potential for a fire hazard exists all around us, even in the safety of our home, and can happen due to any number of potential reasons, including incidents in the kitchen or electrical problems due to power surges or poor wiring. While your responsibility as a property manager would hopefully have safeguards and renovations in the home to prevent those reasons, it’s also your responsibility to provide fire extinguishers in your apartment building. That’s not just an ethical statement, it’s actually part of the lease agreement on your end.
As a property manager, it is your obligation to make sure a rental unit is in a safe habitable condition, and not lacking any specific safety measures. This includes having working and up to date fire extinguishers. It counts as a habitability problem and while time needs to be given to the manager to fix the problem, it can be used as an intent to withhold rent. Not only is having a non-inspected and re-certified fire extinguisher a serious defect that could be used as an excuse by your tenants to withhold rent from you until the problem is fixed, it’s extremely dangerous in the event of an emergency fire.
OSHA and Fire Codes have different requirements when inspecting fire extinguishers. While a monthly check of a fire extinguisher can be done by the property manager or any other on-site employees, with detailed instructions on what to check widely available on the internet, annual inspections are a different story. An annual maintenance of fire extinguishers must be carried out by a certified professional, and technicians will typically possess the certification document as a record of their credentials, renewed every 3 years. Albany Fire Extinguishers gives a rundown of what is normally checked during these procedures in the link below.