December 18, 2015

Six Renter Tips for a Safer Holiday

A lot of good things come with the holidays. There’s more time with friends and family. There are parties to attend, gifts to give out, and plenty of fun and festivities to go around.

But those good things don’t come without a cost.

People fall out of their routines and become forgetful. They decorate their homes, and then rush around without necessarily taking the right precautions. Guests come over and don’t always follow the rules; people travel for the holidays, leaving their homes unattended and vulnerable.

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year. But it’s a sad fact that the number of home fires and fire-related injuries increase over that period. So does crime.

Here are six important tips to share with your residents to help ensure a safer, happier holiday—for your renters and your property.


Decorate with Decorum

When the holidays arrive, the ornaments come out. Lights, garlands, candles, Christmas trees—they’re all lovely, and they’re all possible fire hazards. Make sure your tenants are aware of proper protocol before they start decorating. Lit candles should never be left unattended. Tree lights should be checked for exposed wires or loose connections. (December has the highest amount of electrical fires!) Christmas trees should be placed away from heaters, vents and candles. Real trees should be watered regularly to keep them from drying out; if tenants opt for artificial trees, advise them to get flame retardant options.


Cook with Care

With so much baking and cooking at this time of year, it’s a good time to raise your renters’ awareness of a need for a kitchen fire extinguisher. Also 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.


Get the Right Gear

In the event of a house fire or carbon monoxide leak, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are the first line of defence. Let your renters know how important it is to regularly check the batteries on their detectors.


Kill Crime with Caution

Unfortunately, crime tends to increase around the holidays. 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. In your community newsletter, advise renters not to announce their travel plans on social media.


Know the Options

Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Make sure your tenants are aware of all emergency exits in your building as well as fire drill procedures. It’s also not a bad idea to provide a central repository for local emergency services, like the nearest hospital.


Practice Safe Parking

With parties and out-of-town guests, the holidays often bring an increased need for parking. When cars create makeshift spots and cram into the lot, it forces others to squeeze through, upping the risk of fender benders—especially when ice and snow are involved. Be sure your residents know where available guest parking spots are, and tell them it’s their responsibility to find alternative parking when the lot is full. You could also encourage renters to consider carpooling options for their visitors.

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 six tips to your residents; then sit back, relax and be merry!

To learn more about how the tenant portal can simplify and improve communication, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.

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Robert Braun

President, Wolverine Property Management

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