It’s a fact: If you own or manage apartment buildings, your property is more likely to catch fire than any other kind of structure. According to the most recent fire damage report by The National Fire Protection Association, residential structures are the most commonly impacted class, with well over $7 billion worth of property losses occurring annually.
As you know, the fire-safety habits of tenants can be unpredictable or nonexistent. Handing out fire safety leaflets for tenants is a start, but likely not enough to prevent fires from happening.
At Globe Midwest/Adjusters International, our licensed public adjusters have handled thousands of fire damage insurance claims, especially for apartment complexes. That experience enables us to offer insight into three typical tenant mistakes that can lead to apartment fires.
1. Smoking Dangers
We all know that discarded cigarette butts can cause a fire. Vape pens, e-cigarettes and other smoking devices are fire hazards, too.
Did a tenant leave a vape pen in a jean pocket in the laundry? Did an e-cigarette slide between a couch cushion? Their batteries (like those in cell phones) can overheat, explode and spark a fire.
If your apartment complex is a non-smoking complex, make sure your non-smoking policy includes a prohibition against vape pens, electronic cigarettes and similar smoking devices.
2. Extension Cord Mishaps
Extension cords are not just temporary solutions for lighting holiday decor. Year-round, tenants may rely on them as permanent electrical fixes for entertainment centers, space heaters, air conditioners and other appliances.
When tenants overload an extension cord or run them under rugs or tight spaces, there’s an increased fire risk. What are some solutions?
- Ensure that the unit or property is equipped with grounded outlets that are strategically available in each room.
- Encourage residents to utilize grounded outlet power strips, easily found at many hardware and home stores, if they need a bit more cord length.
- If tenants really need more outlets, have them contact you for advice so they don’t rely on a creative, but dangerous, compromise.
3. Pet Problems
Pets can innocently cause accidental fires. From knocking over candles to turning on stove burners (or even setting soda cans on fire!), strange things can happen when pets are left alone.
Make sure you have rules and regulations concerning pets and service animals to help avoid incidents that may lead to apartment damages.
If your property experiences a major fire damage claim, know that our professional representation and expertise is available to guide you through the complicated insurance claim process.
How A Public Adjuster Helps After Fire Damage
Our expert public adjusters in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin can assist you in the property damage insurance claim process.
We help you understand the details of your policy, precisely prepare and accurately document the extent of your property damage insurance claim (including business interruption and income loss) and negotiate on your behalf to get you the fair and just settlement you deserve.
Blog Article by Stuart Dorf, JD — Senior Vice President of Business Development/Marketing, Globe Midwest Adjusters International
For nearly a century, Globe Midwest Adjusters International public adjusters have successfully represented thousands of clients and secured billions of dollars in settlements for policyholders in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and throughout the Midwest.