Fire safety in an HOA community is more than a matter of having a list of fire safety guidelines posted in the board room. HOA fire prevention is a community effort, and everyone needs to get involved, especially when summer fire safety issues are present in the area you live in and the weather gets extra dry. Tips for HOA fire safety are more than welcome when common fire hazards are present in your community.
Tips for HOA Fire Safety: Every Bit Goes a Long Way
When it comes to having a safe and peaceful community, it is the responsibility of everyone in the community to do their part to keep themselves and others safe. It is up to you, as part of the community management team, to ensure that everyone is prepared to contribute to HOA fire prevention.
Are your residents aware of the common fire hazards present in their homes? How about that fire escape plan for the HOA common areas? That is why education is so important in a close environment.
When it comes to fire safety in an HOA community, every little bit goes a long way. Here are some tips for providing your residents with fire safety education and getting them ready in the case of fire:
1. Equip Each Family with a Three-Point Fire Safety Checklist
If you are a leader in your HOA community, one of the best tips for HOA fire safety you can put into action is to provide homes in the association with a three-point fire safety checklist that they can go over with their families. This HOA fire prevention checklist should include these three things:
- An Established Fire Escape Plan
Each family should take the time to gather everyone together and discuss an escape plan pertaining to each room of the house with primary and alternate routes. Then, the family should practice the escape plan several times so that in case of an emergency, it can be done without thinking.
- An Outside Meeting Place
A meeting place outside the home at a safe distance should be arranged between all of the members of the family, including children. This way, if family members are separated in case of an emergency, they can reunite quickly and safely.
- Smoke Detectors That Function and Are Regularly Inspected
The National Fire Protection Association states that three out of five fire fatalities are the result of faulty or non-functioning smoke detectors. Therefore, it is important for each family to set a schedule for when they will check and service their smoke detectors.
2. Get the Children Involved
Getting everyone, even the kids, involved in fire safety is probably the most important of these tips for HOA fire safety. Children can be a great asset when it comes to fire safety in the community. Even the youngest of kids are typically alert, eager to learn, and have a great deal of enthusiasm, which are all great things to have when it comes to being vigilant against fire.
Bringing fire safety education to the youth is a wonderful way to boost safety in your community. Get together with the leadership of local schools, and create fun and educational fire safety programs for children to participate in at school. Kids who are educated in fire safety are also more likely to reach out to their parents to remind them to check the smoke alarms or go over a safety plan.
3. Reach Out to the Local Fire Department
Local fire departments are always a big help when it comes to fire safety education, and they can offer a wealth of tips for HOA fire safety. With a full arsenal of educational tools at their disposal, they are always ready to help organize a community fire safety event.
In addition to having programs built for schools, many fire departments also have programs for families and older adults. These programs can be fun as well as informative such as fire prevention trailers or firefighting events.
4. Remove and Ban Fire Hazards
Most fire hazards are already banned by the National Fire Protection Association, and it all comes down to vigilance on the part of the community to enforce them. Grills on exterior balconies, for example, are under a total ban regardless of the type of building they’re in. Take the time to remind residents of the more dangerous fire hazards so they are informed.
All of these tips for HOA fire safety emphasize one thing: prevention. It’s better to put down a policy that bans fire hazards and maybe put up with resistance from some residents than to deal with a fire once it starts.
If your HOA does not already have a policy on hoarding or storage of flammables beyond a certain amount, consider drafting one right away. Hoarders can pose a significant danger when it comes to fire safety in the community, and it’s important to keep them in check.
5. Conduct Fire Drills
Condominiums, especially the high-rise ones, are especially vulnerable to fire risks. A condominium HOA should definitely consider having a fire drill scheduled annually or even more often than that.
A fire drill, even if some of your residents may not take it too seriously, can still provide some measures when it comes to fire safety. When you hold a fire drill, your residents get an idea of what the building fire alarm sounds like —that’s already a small but significant boost to their fire preparedness.
One of the Best Tips for HOA Fire Safety
Perhaps one of the best tips for HOA fire safety is to spread awareness in every opportunity you can. Let your residents know what constitutes a fire hazard. Let them see your fire escape plans, and hear what the fire alarm signal sounds like.
When thinking about fire safety in your community, it is important to be both proactive and creative.The time spent reaching out to the neighborhood will be time well spent as most fires and deaths and injuries related to fires are preventable with a little education. If your HOA needs more ideas when it comes to HOA fire prevention policies, we’re here to help.
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