Smoking, fireplaces, candles, grills—there are many different ways in which fire plays a role in HOA safety. Fires are a constant concern in condo associations, but HOAs also have to make sure they’re following fire-safety mandates while answering important questions for their residents.
HOA boards need to know their responsibilities with regard to ensuring community-wide fire safety as well as know the fundamental steps they need to take to ensure that fire readiness is a top concern. As any HOA is outlining its plan around fire safety, here are some guidelines to consider.
Getting Secured with HOA Insurance Coverage
HOA insurance coverage plans are meant to protect an HOA in the event of any issue relative to the condition of the association itself. In Florida, the state legislature passed a law requiring that every building that fits certain criteria must have the life-safety issue of fire hazards resolved by the end of 2019. If issues like these aren’t taken care of, HOA’s in Florida could see major hits to their operations and reputations.
Having HOA insurance coverage, such as cyber liability or an umbrella policy, will help to keep HOA’s protected moving on, especially if state laws like the one in Florida continue to spread throughout the country.
Getting Everything Up to Code
While HOAs in Florida are starting to implement these features, it brings to light the fact that buildings, no matter how old or how they have been constructed, have to be inspected by local fire departments or fire marshals on an annual basis. Codes on the frequency of inspections can vary. For example, the state may require a certain frequency of inspections whereas a main city in that state may have another plan altogether.
Regardless of where a building is located, HOA boards need to be in open communication with local fire inspectors to know how often they need inspecting to make sure everything is up to code and they are not running the risk of major liabilities.
Conduct Fire Drills
HOA’s should conduct regular fire drills, at least on an annual basis. The ideal time to do this is in the fall during fire prevention week (in October) because there are a lot of public service materials available through the National Fire Protection Agency. While fire drills may seem a little silly to those in the community, they can save lives in the long run. The best thing to do is to keep everyone educated and engaged in their overall health and well-being.
Put a Ban on Fire Hazards
HOA’s have the power to enact rules that ban fire hazards, such as having grills on balconies. There really isn’t any way to get a control on combustible materials and things like patio furniture could aid in creating and growing a fire.
A good rule of thumb is to use common sense and make sure to explain the reasons why certain items are being banned. Overall, this should be for the safety of the community as a whole, not just the people who have certain hazardous items in or outside their homes.
About Kevin Davis Insurance Services
For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (877) 807-8708 to speak with one of our representatives.