September is Baby Safety Month and it is a good time to look at ways that you can help your tenants keep the littlest members of their household’s safe and secure.
There are certain aspects of safety that are requirements from the insurance holder that they will expect you to have: Screens, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and local rules or code per municipality are examples.
Keep these 7 things in mind when renting to families with little ones.
#1 First and foremost make sure that your properties are up to code with your state regulations and municipal codes. Make sure you address the obvious things such as proper egress, bathroom and kitchen GFCI outlets and bedroom window requirements.
#2 Carbon Monoxide detectors need to be installed. Some smoke detectors have both features built-in but normally there needs to be a separate carbon monoxide detector on each level of the home and near the sleeping areas.
#3 To prevent accidental scalding, set the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting. It is important to relay this information to the tenants that it is best to keep the water heater set low which will also help on utility costs as well as keeping children safe from being burned.
#4 Make sure all electrical cords and wires are covered in all of the areas of the property. If there is an outlet cover missing or light switch covers make sure those are all replaced. If you know that toddlers or babies are going to be living in the property then it is a nice gesture to have outlet plugs for all of the electrical outlets in the house as a safety measure to keep little ones from accidentally touching the outlets and being shocked.
#5 Ensure that screens are in upstairs windows and that windows will safely lock and secure to prevent falls. An emergency release and windows that are not painted shut are also important in upstairs rooms in the event of a fire. You can get stickers to place on children’s bedroom windows for firefighters to be alerted or you can give resources where your tenants can get these.
#6 If there is a sump pump that is open or has an easily removable lid, make sure that you lock or keep it covered to prevent an accidental drowning for a child or a pet. Any open water source needs to be addressed on the property on the exterior as well.
#7 Sidewalks, back and front doors and garage areas need to be well lit with safe, in good repair steps and sidewalks. If the back yard has a fenced area, a gate lock is important in addition to a fence in good repair to keep a toddler or a pet from getting out.
With a little forethought and being aware of the unique needs of your tenants with small children you can potentially prevent an unsafe situation. Your tenants will appreciate you for taking into consideration the littlest members of their household!