How to Manage Your Tenants’ Holiday Decorations

Give your tenants the give of safety this holiday season, by reminding them of hazards that arise from common holiday decorations:

Candles are one of the worst culprits when it comes to holiday fires.  This risk is even greater when tenants have pets.  Insist tenants use flameless candles, and avoid the horror of a late night fire after a tenant falls asleep with a candle burning.

Holiday lights are festive, but harbor hidden dangers.  If lights have been placed in storage, cords can crack or even become a midnight snack for gnawing insects or rodents.  Make sure tenants check light strings for wear or damage. 

In order to hide cords, it’s common for exuberant tenants to overload outlets with lighted decorations.  Make sure tenants follow building codes and the manufacturers’ restrictions regarding stringing cords and wattage of bulbs.

When using extension cords, tenants must check that the cord is not damaged, or overloaded, for instance, by stringing extension cords together.  Cords should not be covered by rugs.

Live trees and wreaths pose a fire risk if not properly tended.  Discourage tenants from setting up a live tree if they will not be in town for the holidays. Live trees need regular water or they become tinder for fire.  Also, trees must be kept several feet from fireplaces.

Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.

Most fires and injuries occur because tenants are unaware of the dangers.  Providing them tips for staying safe over the holidays is the best gift you can provide to them as a landlord — and it helps keep your property safe, which makes for a happy and prosperous new year!

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