Fire is an ever-present danger, regardless of the time of year. There were more than 71,499 fires in Colorado in 2017. While the Summer has wound down and temperatures have dropped, the Fall brings with it new challenges to be aware of when it comes to fire safety. You and your HOA are a team when it comes to fire: both have responsibilities to each other to make sure that everyone can have a safe and fire-free Fall. Here are some things to do and keep in mind as we move into the season:
1. Make sure your smoke and CO2 detectors have batteries and function properly.
As the temperatures drop, the risk of fire moves from outdoors to inside your home. Smoke detectors and CO2 detectors need batteries to work, so be sure they have them. If you hear a chirp coming from a common area detector, let your Property Manager or our Association Coordinator know and we can get them replaced.
2. Furnaces kick on, space heaters are plugged in, and candles lit for ambience (not to mention holiday lights and decorations!) all present increased risks for fires.
Be sure to use plugs that are in good repair and cords that are not frayed. And don’t overload your outlets as that can also increase your risk. Be sure to put out candles before you go to bed or leave the room. And, don’t leave your stove top unattended!
3. Develop a plan with your family and/or neighbors about what to do in the case of a fire.
Take stock of escape routes you may use. With current building materials and household items fire spreads much more quickly than in the past, you will have less than a minute in most cases to get out, so planning ahead is critical. Your HOA should also have a fire emergency plan in place, where people can find best escape routes, meeting up locations, etc. Don’t forget to think about pets, if you have them, in your plan!
4. Review your homeowner’s insurance and the HOA insurance to make sure you are fully covered in the case of a fire.
Depending on your community type – high-rise condo, townhome, single family home, or something in between – both you and your HOA are required by Colorado law to carry certain insurance packages depending on the type of community you live in. Make sure your policy is up to date and covers fire. Your HOA’s policy information is available for access at capmangement.com/owners or at our office – you can email our office manager, Kent, for Association specific insurance documents.
Your community is not immune from the danger that fires can pose. Be sure to take the time to ensure that you have the right tools that can keep your home and community fire-safe. Knowing escape routes, maintaining smoke and CO2 detectors and making sure your sprinkler system is up to date and active are just some of the steps you can take that can save lives. No one wants to think that it can happen to them or their family, but it can. Your HOA and CAP Management can help to make sure that the risk is kept low and that you have a safe, fire-free, Fall!