Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This holiday celebrates family and thankfulness with a delicious feast. Thanksgiving does have a dark side, however. It has the dubious honor of being the day of the year that has the most home fires – the instances of fire are more than double of what is seen on any other day.
That means Thanksgiving can be a source of worry for landlords. This year, instead of ruining your holiday by worrying about your tenants and rental units, be proactive.
Point Your Tenants Toward Valuable Resources
Not everybody has this cooking and baking thing under control. If you suspect your tenants belong on Nailed It, the television show about people who are a hot mess in the kitchen, instead of on MasterChef, your best bet is hooking your tenants up with some resources.
You can send out a flyer or newsletter, pointing them to websites and hotlines that can help them as they make their Thanksgiving feast great. It might not hurt to let them know that nearly half of fires in residential buildings on Thanksgiving happen from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. while people are cooking. That might put them on heightened alert, so they’ll keep an eye on their ovens and stoves a bit better.
Here are some resources to put in that memo to your tenants:
- Butterball Hotline: This answers all turkey-cooking questions.
- Smoke alarms: The National Fire Protection Association has this checklist for using smoke alarms properly.
- Grease fires: Tenants knowing how to put out a grease fire in the kitchen fire can save big bucks for landlords.
- Food poisoning: While this danger doesn’t directly impact your property, it can hurt your tenants. To keep them safe and out of the hospital this holiday season, give them some information about avoiding food poisoning.
- Decorations: Many Christmas decorations are up before Thanksgiving. If you have a tenant who channels their inner Clark Griswold and takes their holiday decorations to the next level, share some decorating safety tips.
Don't Forget to Do Your Part
You can do more to protect your tenants and buildings than cross your fingers and hope for the best this holiday season.
- Repair cracks in your sidewalks and driveways: Leaving these un-repaired can result in bigger, more costly cracks from winter weather and the possibility of your tenants tripping and falling.
- Fix window and door drafts: Wind and cold getting in your buildings will drive up bills and increase your tenant’s discomfort.
- Clean the gutters: This can save you repair money from broken gutters or leaks in your structure.
- Tree maintenance: Have any weak limbs removed that could fall on your buildings.
- Get someone for snow removal: Unless you relish the idea of spending your days with a snow shovel in your hand, you should hire someone to remove snow and ice from sidewalks and driveways.
- Check the roof: Look for any needed repairs and seal up openings.
- Get your pipes winterized: You don’t want frozen lines to deal with.
- Check over your detectors: It’s a good idea to test or replace smoke and carbon monoxide detectors while doing your other maintenance. That way you won’t forget – it will become an annual thing.
Enjoy the Season
Now that you have a firm plan in place when it comes to protecting your tenants and buildings this Thanksgiving, you can relax. Make some popcorn, kick your feet up, and watch a Thanksgiving classic movie like Planes, Trains & Automobiles and laugh your way through this holiday.
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