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Tip #219: All in Good Fun

July tends to be the most hazard-prone month for tenants.

Fourth of July festivities are a primary reason. More specifically, balcony grilling is at fault.

Barbecuing in multifamily housing sends thousands of people to the hospital each year, and causes significant  property damage. In fact, if you knew how common the problem was, you may decide to ban it altogether.

Help keep a watchful eye on your tenants and avoid this holiday disaster:

One of the best way to keep tenants safe is to follow your local fire code. It’s likely you will need to prohibiting tenants from storing flammable materials on balconies, including papers, fabrics, charcoal briquettes and starter fluid. Don’t hesitate to ask your local fire marshal for information.

Gas grills are more problematic than charcoal. That’s because they notoriously leak, causing explosions and fires — like when leaking gas is exposed to cigarette smokers.

Propane is extremely volatile, and is generally not recommended in multifamily dwellings.

Make sure tenants know not to leave objects on or near the grill, especially in tight spaces.

Tenants should be aware of any occupancy limits, especially for balconies.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very real possibility when grills are not properly ventilated, or when smoke wafts into a neighbor’s open windows.

Another common source of fires is tenants dumping the ashes from charcoal briquettes into trash cans, unaware the embers are still smoldering.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to remind tenants of any noise curfews you may have in place, so everyone can get a good night’s sleep — including you.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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