DALLAS — October 5, 2023 — Associa, the community management industry’s largest company, is dedicated to helping homeowners associations (HOAs) and managed communities create attractive and welcoming environments where residents can maximize their quality of life. Fire danger is something all communities face. These fire prevention tips can help promote safety in condo buildings and neighborhoods.
The best way to minimize the danger of fire in your community is to
provide homeowners with fire-prevention tips and education.
Educate residents about fire safety
Share these tips in your community newsletter and website, send email reminders, or offer fire safety classes to educate residents.
- Install a functioning smoke alarm on every level of your home
- Test smoke alarms monthly to ensure they function
- Establish a fire escape plan with your family
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and understand how to use it
Meet your local fire department
Become acquainted with the local fire department and fire marshal. This provides a resource for:
- Knowing who to contact for inspections
- Ensuring your community buildings are up to code
- Providing fire safety education and fire-prevention tips
Conduct annual fire drills
The HOA board should conduct annual fire drills to help residents stay prepared and understand the fire safety protocol. These drills:
- Remind residents what the fire alarm sounds like
- Help new residents learn where to go and what to do during a fire
- Let residents know the physical requirements to get out of the building
Maintain community landscaping
Dry vegetation is easily combustible. Make sure trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers are neatly trimmed and well-watered. Other fire-safe tips to consider for community landscaping include:
- Plant trees and shrubs away from buildings. Keep vegetation five to ten feet from structures to keep fire from spreading.
- Choose fire-wise plants that contain more moisture and fewer volatile oils and flammable chemicals, providing less fuel for a fire.
- Replace wooden structures with nonflammable materials. Architectural standards vary by community, but stone and concrete are good non-flammable options.
Regulate the use of fire hazards
Restricting hazards that increase the risk of fire go a long way in preventing one.
- HOA boards can ban grills on balconies or within a certain distance of homes and other structures.
- Regulate portable fireplaces or other mobile fire devices in homes or community areas to reduce the chance of fire.
Wildfire Safety Tips for Your Community
While all HOAs can benefit from fire safety best practices, some communities are located in areas that face extreme wildfire danger.
- These are areas where people may be forced to leave their homes due to a uncontrolled fire in forests, woodlands, grasslands, anywhere with dry, combustible vegetation to fuel the flames.
- Download and read Associa’s article, How to Prepare Your Community for a Wildfire for tips on keeping residents safe and prepared.
With more than 275 branch offices across North America, Associa is building the future of community for more than 6.5 million residents worldwide. Our 14,000+ team members lead the industry with unrivaled education, expertise, and trailblazing innovation. For more than 44 years, Associa has brought positive impact and meaningful value to communities. To learn more, visit www.associaonline.com.