An HOA board is responsible for many things in a homeowners association. One of the most important is the safety of residents. In addition to just encouraging residents to watch out for each other, a Board can be proactive about educating homeowners too.
A great way to do this is in a monthly communication, such as a newsletter. If your Association doesn’t have a newsletter, consider getting one started and including safety tips such as easy preventative steps to avoid a house fire.
Most in-home fires are caused by ordinary things like a stove burner, candle, space heater or extension cord. Thankfully, by exercising good safety habits and taking simple prevention steps, residents in a homeowners association can cut down on deadly and damaging fire risks.
First, always be sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them monthly and replace those that are more than 10 years old.
Never leave the kitchen while something is cooking on the stove. Keep combustibles, such as curtains and wall hangings, at least three feet from the stove.
Keep them at least three feet away from drapes and bedding, and plug them directly into outlets, not extension cords. Don’t use space heaters while sleeping.
Wood stoves and fireplaces
Empty ashes in a metal container and store them outside away from combustibles for at least a week before disposing of them in the trash. Be sure your chimney is inspected and cleaned annually. Keep any combustibles at least five feet away from the stove or fireplace.
Replace undersized or frayed extension cords. Never run an extension cord under a rug. Call an electrician if circuit breakers regularly trip or if your electrical box has a warm cover. Don’t use light bulbs that exceed a fixture’s recommended maximum wattage.
Ensure combustion chamber covers are in place on water heaters. Clean all lint from a dryer’s back service panel and from the vent line. Replace vinyl vent lines with smooth, metal ducts.
Don’t smoke in bed. Use large ashtrays on tables. Soak ashtrays under the faucet before throwing cigarette butts in the trash.
Use tip-proof containers. Burn candles only while you’re awake and in the same room. Keep candles at least three feet away from combustibles.
Matches and lighters
Store out of the reach of children.
HOA board members should encourage residents to put these simple safety tips into practice, check to make sure their smoke alarms are working, keep a fire extinguisher in the house, and make a fire evacuation plan, to keep residents in the homeowners association confident they’re living in a community that cares about their safety and well-being.