COVID and Fire Safety
The ongoing global health-crisis has without a doubt put significant pressure on property owners and their tenants alike. Due to the shift to remote working, numerous people had to create or improvise ad-hoc home offices. This has created a greater risk to property owners and landlords with so many people using their home as an office.
Now, a new working environment comes with its own risks and requirements. And the number one factor is fire safety. Fire safety should always be given special consideration too, even if your home office is just a small addition to your home. Installing an ARCS is mandatory in new residential constructions taller than 125 feet. Installation requirements and procedures are provided in rule 3 RCNY §511-01.
Structure fires are common in NYC, and FDNY is dedicated to preserving the safety of our people, homes, and buildings. With a typical response time of just over 4 minutes (from the 911 call to the fire department arriving on scene), fire can still have a devastating effect.
If you’ve been affected by the global pandemic as well, and spend more time at home, then you will appreciate this information. This article is geared towards property owners and landlords who are facing a new challenge as tenants are staying home and working from home because of Covid. You’ll be equipped with all you need to know about fire safety during COVID-19 by the end of our article.
Out of all the fire emergencies, residential fires are among the most sensitive ones. They carry the biggest risk of death or severe injury. And unfortunately, these incidents are expected to rise, with people spending more time at home and cooking their own meals.
“We already see the majority of fires happening in homes,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “As people spend much more time at home and engage in activities that significantly contribute to the home fire problem, it’s critical that they recognize where potential hazards exist and what they can do to prevent fires.”
To help maximize at-home fire safety, let’s take a look at the main hazards in your household.
The Causes of Fire
The most common cause of home fires is cooking. NFPA statistics suggest that cooking equipment is involved in 49% of residential fires,
The biggest concern when it comes to this is unattended or distracted cooking – as most fires in the kitchen happen when people aren’t paying attention.
Because of the new normal, our habits have changed significantly, giving room to more distractions. A tenant is now home all day, as well as an entire family. Small children can be especially distracting while preparing supper.
To avoid a disaster, inform your tenants of greater safety and fire-prevention methods, also to increase their situational awareness.
Smoking and negligence are a major factor in structure fires and is completely preventable. Most fires are caused by smoking materials inside the home, improperly put out cigarettes, and lack of attention.
This is true in residential as well as commercial buildings. Make sure to teannts use caution with cigarettes and ashes by properly disposing of them, never smoke in bed, or near oxygen, and using proper ashtrays. Even outside use proper receptacles and extinguish properly.
Most homes and residential buildings in New York City are required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in the sleeping areas. Building owners are responsible for installing approved carbon monoxide detectors. This will prevent the risk of CO poisoning that you won’t be able to sense until it’s too late.
Electrical and Heating Equipment
The most important is electrical fire safety to consider. Tenants can start improving their home’s safety by plugging all major appliances straight into the wall. And make sure none of the electrical circuits are overused.
Paying attention to space heaters is important, make sure they are on a stable surface so as not to tip over, do not run them continuously, and pay attention to any loose or fraying wires and cords.
Electrical cords are among the main dangers when it comes to electrical fire safety. Making sure they’re intact and the cover isn’t broken is important. It’s best to routinely check on your main cords, only to make sure nothing is broken or damaged from daily usage.
And last but not least, beware of how your cords are conducted. Never run them under your door or carpet as this will increase the chance of a fire.
We hope that identifying the leading causes of fire will help keep your tenants safe during the global pandemic.
Remember to make sure that fire safety should never be compromised. As a property owner, keeping tenants informed may prevent accidents from happening.