Do you have college or university students heading off or returning to school? Now is the time to talk safety around the house and to be on the look out for the tell tale signs of problems with their student housing living accommodations.
If you’ve got kids living in college or university off-campus rental units, wise parents can help their children determine if their accommodations are safe. Here are just a few things to look out for:
- ensure sufficient there are working smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors – it’s the law. We recommend at least one of each per level and per bedroom. Are they interconnected with other tenant’s rooms or adjacent building units so they will “go off” if a fire starts in their rooms / units?
- call the local Municipality to find out if the property is zoned correctly for its intended use e.g. as a rental property, rooming house, multi-tenant use
- aside from tenants insurance, obtain a Certificate of Insurance from the landlord that sufficient insurance coverage is in place for its use.
- contact the local Fire Department / Fire Marshall to ensure the property has been inspected recently and that there are no outstanding work orders.
- ensure electrical wiring is safe e.g. lights don’t flicker; cover plates are present on receptacles / switches; electrical panel, fuses / breakers are in good working order; no exposed wiring or unsecured receptacles / switches are present; and, that proper ground fault / arc fault protection is present.
- ascertain gas appliances have been properly maintained and are safe for operation e.g. the heating system (furnace); cook top / oven / stove; barbeque; and, fireplace .
- is the wood burning fireplace or wood stove safe to use? Has it been cleaned / maintained properly? Is the insurance company aware of their presence?
- is there a hot tub or pool available for use and if so what safety measures are in place regarding them.
- is there any water / moisture penetration into the building?
- are decks / balconies supported properly and secured properly to prevent collapse?
- are handrails and guardrails well secured and an appropriate height, with balusters / spindles spaced properly?
- are there environmental concerns such as mould, asbestos, lead, etc.?
Not sure what you should be looking for with your children’s student housing? Need help? Get your son’s / daughter’s house, apartment or residence inspected BEFORE they move in, and better yet before they sign the lease!
We can help to make your child’s time away at school safer … contact us!