December 11, 2018
Is Your Property Management Company Holiday Ready?
Tis the season! Holiday celebrations are gearing up, and that means both your property management company and your tenants are getting into the festive spirit as well. No doubt you’re already starting to see twinkling lights on balconies.
It’s a wonderful time of the year, but there are some things you need to prepare for. Here are some tips to help both your company and your tenants to reduce risk and stay safe.
When decorating common areas, opt for fire-retardant decorations. Check lights for any breaks or loose connections in all electrical cords and lights. Do no connect more than three strands together, and of course, never staple strings of lights or power cords. The best place for your holiday decorations in public areas are on the concierge desk in the lobby, or off to one side, out of the way so that no one trips. Keep decorations away from any sources of heat, and ensure nothing is blocking the exits. Turn off decorations at night.
Send Fire Safety Tips For Tenants
Every year at this time, fire and fire-related injuries increase. Common causes are kitchen fires, unattended candles, and electrical malfunctions. Early December is the perfect time to send your tenants a reminder on how they can reduce their risk of a fire, and what to do in case of a fire. Share tips on how to put out fires with baking soda or by smothering a pan fire with a lid to remove the oxygen. (Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.) The tenant should ALWAYS call emergency services if the fire does not go out quickly or they are unsure about what to do. In the event of a house fire or carbon monoxide leak, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are the first line of defense. Let your renters know how important it is to regularly check the batteries on their detectors.
Also, let your tenants know that, sadly, the holidays are a time of increased theft and robbery. Even with the seasonal busy-ness, it’s important that residents stick to their usual precautions. Locked doors and windows go a long way toward discouraging burglars. If they are going away to visit relatives, they should leave a light on (on a timer), and stop mail or newspaper delivery. If the property has a driveway or sideway, ask a neighbor to clear any snow. In your community newsletter, advise renters not to announce their travel plans on social media.
Prepare Your Portal
Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Use your portal to provide a central repository for local emergency services, like the nearest hospital. Put together a holiday safety guide and make sure your tenants are aware of all emergency exits in your building as well as fire drill procedures.
Fire & Heat
And, it’s not only tenants, it is also a good time to run spot checks on your own fire extinguishers and smoke alarms to ensure they are in good working order. Check that all chimneys are clear, and that heaters and furnaces are functioning well so that there are no unpleasant surprises. If you have a real tree in your lobby, ensure that it is properly watered to keep it from drying out.
Clear the Ice
When cold weather arrives, property maintenance can be more challenging. But especially over the holiday season when there are more people coming and going, it’s critical that your company stay on top of clearing snow and ice. Ensure your maintenance teams have plenty of salt or sand to provide traction on sidewalks. As winter weather can be unpredictable, with high winds, freezing rain and heavy snow, be sure to have a prepared list of emergency numbers in case a tree comes down on the property, or the roof needs to be fixed.
By taking a few simple precautions, you can help ensure a much safer holiday for your residents while reducing risk to your property. Use the tenant portal to communicate these tips to your residents and provide them with holiday safety information; then sit back, relax and be merry!
If you are looking for a property management solution that includes a tenant communication and maintenance portal (along with a ton of other solutions), be sure to check out our pricing and arrange a demo.