Fires can cause major damage to homes and property, and in many cases, they can be prevented. A little safety, planning, and awareness can go a long way. There are many ways that homeowners can help protect their homes and be more alert for potential dangers. The HOA should also take steps to ensure common areas are free from hazards and are regularly inspected for fire risk.
Here are a few ways you can be more proactive:
- Get your HVAC system serviced. Before the temperatures drop and you flip on the heat, have a professional come out and check your system for potential issues. They can ensure that everything is working properly and safely bring your heating system into use.
- Clean your chimney and fireplace. Soot and debris can build up in your chimney making it a fire risk. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually to remove buildup and check for cracks or other damage. Also, make sure you know how to safely operate your fireplace, whether it uses gas or wood, and wait until ashes have cooled completely to dispose of them.
- Move your grill or fire pit. Keep this type of equipment a safe distance from your home. You don’t want any stray sparks or flare ups to accidentally catch your home or shrubs on fire. Also, stay nearby and pay attention to what is happening around these areas to reduce risk.
- Keep an eye on the kitchen. With the holidays coming up, that often means more family gatherings and parties that involve cooking. Make sure someone stays in the kitchen to watch food that may be in the oven or on the stove so that it does not burn. Set timers as a reminder to pay attention so you don’t lose track of time. Have fire extinguishers on hand just in case too.
- Change smoke detector batteries. You should check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year and replace as necessary. You don’t want to wait until it is too late to realize these detectors aren’t working correctly.
The HOA can also send out reminders and add tips into newsletters and other communications to help members be more aware of fire safety strategies. Partnering with the local fire department to hold a fire safety event can be helpful too. Homeowners can ask questions, learn ways to protect themselves and their homes, and create a plan for what do in the event of an emergency. It’s a great way to get kids more familiar with safety tips too and allow them to meet firefighters.
The HOA and property managers can work together to ensure that the right processes and procedures are in place to protect association property and educate members. Kuester partners with associations on a wide range of preventive maintenance and communication initiatives to keep communities safer. Contact Kuester today to learn more about how they can support your HOA.