Nearly every property manager has had to deal with a fire inspector during his or her tenure. They typically happen once a year, are almost always unannounced, and usually result in the property having to shell out some cash to make a few upgrades. Even if your fire safety equipment seems in good condition to your tenants, its condition may not live up to safety standards. It’s also important to remember that fire safety regulations can change and this year, you might be asked to upgrade to meet the new regulations.
Because a fire inspector almost never will give your property a perfectly clean bill of health, it’s a good idea to build fire safety equipment upgrades and certifications into your annual budget. Here is a list of expenses most property managers will incur every year:
- Certification and test of fire alarms
- Certification, inspection, and recharges of fire extinguishers
- Flow and pressure test of fire pump, as well as certification
- Flow test for fire hydrant, as well as certification
- Test and certification of fire sprinklers
- Test and certification of generator or backup power
Other parts of your property that must be working properly and safely in case of a fire are exit signs, stairways and railings, and fire pull stations. Most of these safety items are inspected annually by their manufacturers, but if the fire inspector sees that they weren’t, they’ll be red flagged.
The fire inspector also will look for things that you might not ordinarily think about or have control over, like chemical or cleaning supply storage. We’ll cover these items and discuss ways to manage them in a separate post.
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