Tenant Fire Escape Planning 101 for Landlords

October is Fire Prevention Month and Fire Prevention Week runs October 7th-13th. This commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but more so offers us the opportunity to ensure our preparedness measures are in effect at home. Be sure to pass along the FEMA flyer with helpful safety tips for tenant/occupant fire escape planning tips: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/two_ways_out_infographic.pdf (click on the title to auto enable hyperlink to FEMA infographic or copy and past this address into your browser)

As a landlord, you can assist tenants by creating a fire escape plan depicting at least two ways out of each bedroom in your rental unit.

It doesn't need to be really fancy, but a basic floor plan schematic with all available exits and fire safety related equipment (smoke detectors, escape ladders, fire extinguishers, etc.) should be posted during a change in tenancy (we put them in a Dollar Store frame and hang them in an inconspicuous space). Additionally, the same type of floor plan drawing is very useful when detailing walk-thru defects, such as wall or floor covering damages, etc.--helping to support a case for determining whether or not post tenancy repairs are due to pre-existing conditions or tenant-caused damages/neglect.

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