Owning a multifamily home and renting it out can be a financially great decision, but it does come with a lot of responsibility. As the owner, it is completely up to you to ensure the building is safe for all of the families living there. If you're new to multifamily rentals, there are a few things that you may have overlooked. Here, you'll find a short list of things to make sure you've included in the homes.
How many fire extinguishers do you have in the building and where are they located? Each unit should have at least one fire extinguisher – ideally, more than one would be better – for the kitchen area and for the rest of the apartment.
As well as the fire extinguishers in the rental units, you also need to have them located throughout the hallways, staircases, basement, and other shared spaces. Every area of the multifamily home should have a fire extinguisher that is easy to access and in good, working condition.
Have you had the fire extinguishers inspected or have you checked the expiration dates? A lot of people don't know that fire extinguishers expire – they do. The date in which they need to be replaced must be honored; if you try to put out a fire with an extinguisher that is expired, it might not work.
You may be able to get a great deal on the extinguishers by looking into wholesale fire extinguisher sales. Contact the sales department and inquire about buying the bulk number of units you need to keep everyone safe. A company like Fire Foe Corp may be able to help.
Do you have emergency lighting installed in all of the hallways, stairways and shared spaces? You need to provide enough lighting for your tenants to exit the building safely in the event of a power outage or emergency.
There are very affordable options for emergency lighting and can be found just about anywhere. If you don't want to invest in a commercial-grade emergency lighting system, you can pick up a residential version at a home improvement store. These typically hang on the wall and are plugged into a basic outlet. If the power goes off, the lights automatically turn on.
These two changes will make things much safer in the multifamily home. Hopefully, you'll get all of the assistance you need to find the fire extinguishers and emergency lighting that the home needs for optimum safety.