Without a doubt, space heaters should never be tolerated in a rental home. There is a good reason why they have a damaging rep for causing deadly accidents, and it would not be a wise business move to risk letting them in your property. It’s like every time we read the newspapers we hear stories of a fire caused by space heaters. The stories are almost the same: a family goes to bed on a cold winter night, their space heater keeping the freezing air at bay – and they never see the light of day. And it’s almost always one of two things: Either the electric heater has malfunctioned and filled the home with toxic fumes, or it has ignited an electrical fire from which there is little hope of escape. Stories like these are all too familiar, and the last thing any Prosper property owner needs is to discover that such a misfortune has occurred to their residents.
Electric heaters are usually regarded to be the safer alternative for residential use compared to fuel-based models. But even electric heaters must be used under strict supervision and in adherence to the recommended safety practices. Children and pets are particularly vulnerable to injury caused by space heaters, which puts any resident with a family or pet at risk. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that your residents will know or follow the prescribed safety practices or use the space heater correctly, which may lead to damaging consequences.
Banning space heaters is not only a wise safety measure but also an important part of protecting yourself and your real estate investment. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has estimated that over 25,000 residential fires are caused by space heaters each year. These fires result in more than 300 deaths and 6,000 emergency room visits annually. While some of these injuries are burns from touching a space heater unit, others are far more serious.
As the rental property owner, you bring with you a high risk of accountability if you permit your residents to use space heaters. While your landlord’s insurance covers the damage to the rental home itself, if a space heater has caused any loss of life or serious injury, that may result in further legal action against you. Lawsuits alleging negligence or worse could threaten not only your livelihood, but also your assets and, in some cases, your freedom.
Regular property evaluations are crucial to protecting your property from the dangers presented by space heaters. At Real Property Management Preston Trails, regular evaluations are a foundational piece of our property management program. We believe that the safety of your residents is a top priority, as is protecting you and your investment from the dangers of noncompliance. Contact us online or call us at 214-477-6518 to learn more about what we can do for you.