Last modified on August 20th, 2013
By Aimee Miller
It is the nightmare of every property owner and manager. However, an emergency at a property can be much more real than a nightmare. Property managers should always have an emergency plan in place in order to deal with damage to a property and protect the safety of residents.
Educate Residents on Evacuation Situations
Before an emergency strikes, property managers should always have a plan in place for residents. If there is a fire, flood, earthquake or unforeseen emergency in the area, residents should know what the property manager expects of them. In some cases an evacuation seems necessary, while in others, like in the event of an earthquake, residents should stay indoors. Property managers need to make certain that evacuation plans are clear for residents so that they know what to do in the event of an emergency and how to carry out the plan.
Mark Emergency Exits and Fire-Safe Stairwells
A common tragedy in apartment or condo fires is that some resident didn’t know how to get out of the building. They might know they need to evacuate, but they don’t clearly see where to go and how. Property managers should do a check of their properties to make certain all emergency exits are clearly marked. Residents should have a diagram in their units that clearly mark where these exits and stairwells are in the complex.
Check All Fire Extinguishers and 911 Call Plans
Fire extinguishers should be placed strategically all around the property. They should also be clearly visible to residents. Property managers need to check these yearly. Fire extinguishers can be useless if they are several years old. In addition to checking on fire extinguishers, property managers should also have a 911 call plan in place. If an emergency occurs, managers should know if the fire alarms immediately trigger 911 contact or how to make sure those calls go out as quickly as possible.
Keep Residents Updated on Emergency Plans
You can do everything as a property manager to make sure residents know where to go in the event of a fire or earthquake. However, some residents will toss those pamphlets and pieces of information after years of living in a property with no issues or emergencies. Property managers should always update this information and keep residents informed no matter how long they have been living on site.