happy rentersAs landlords and property managers safety is a big concern. Of course we want to keep our family and friends safe in our own home as well as protect our tenants from harm and our properties against damage. Proper maintenance of items in your home can prevent a potentially dangerous situation.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) has been nicknamed the silent killer and rightfully so as this colorless and odorless gas is responsible for 15,000 visits to the hospital and 500 deaths every year in the United States. There are appliances in many homes that use/burn fuel and are responsible for potentially hazardous CO leaks and subsequent build up. As a landlord in Oregon I am required to install CO detectors in my rental properties. I generally install the smoke and CO combo detectors outside each bedroom and on every floor of the property even the basement.

Lightning and Power Surges

In this day and age there are electronics and appliances of all sorts plugged in, in every room of a typical home. It’s important to ensure that the outlets are not overloaded and that a surge protector is used especially for televisions and computers. During a thunderstorm which is quite common here in southern Oregon in the summer lightning can strike and cause a power surge. A Power surge can render expensive electronics and appliances useless in a blink of an eye and in the worst case scenario the power surge could ignite a fire inside the home. During a storm it’s not a bad idea to unplug appliances and electronics just in case.

The Clothes Dryer

How often have you neglected cleaning out the lint trap between loads of laundry? I’m guilty of being in a hurry and just leaving the lint for another time. Lint left in the lint trap can cause the dryer to overheat and cause a fire. Even the dryer vent is supposed to be cleaned on an annual basis to keep your dryer running at normal temperatures and efficiently.

Ponds, Pools, etc

Water can be a drowning hazard particularly if small children are living in the home. I’ve had tenants ask if they could put up a portable pool and although I felt bad I told them no, that they couldn’t. In Oregon it’s required that you have a fence around pools but that doesn’t always solve the problem. A Pool cover is one way to ensure that children are not able to get into the pool without adult supervision. Call me paranoid but I bought a house that had a pond in the back and I filled it in to avoid any accidents.

Watch That Step

Tripping accidents are one of the biggest claims against homeowners in litigation. Whether it’s a visitor, door to door salesman, or a resident of the home it’s important to minimize the potential for a fall. Patching cracks in asphalt, repairing loose or replacing rotting boards on decks, ensure railing on decks are secure, and cutting away exposed tree roots are all great ways to minimize the potential for a fall.

Don’t Get Into Hot Water

Make sure that the hot water heater is not turned up too high to eliminate the risk of a burn accident. This is particularly important again when there are small children or babies in the home. Scalding hot water hurts and is a hazard.

What are some other hazards around the home that everyone but landlords, and property managers in particular need to be aware of?