You Need to Know the Regulations
The safety and security of residents and tenants in any property should be a top priority for property managers. In Florida, property managers are responsible for maintaining security and fire protection systems in accordance with local and state regulations. Failure to maintain these systems can result in significant financial and legal repercussions, making it crucial for property managers to stay informed and proactive in their approach to system maintenance.
In this article, we’ll explain some of the fire safety and security regulations every property manager should be aware of, so you can practice secure property management.
Florida Fire Safety & Security Regulations You Should Know
The key to secure property management is to understand your rights and the rights of your residents. Florida has regulations in place that force property owners to take steps to ensure to safety of their residents, but so too are there rules in place to protect property owners from delinquent residents.
Fire Safety Regulations
Sprinkler systems are one of the best ways to keep residents safe and stop serious property damage. Sprinklers not only keep your residents’ property safe, but also stop small fires from growing into infernos and destroying your building. These fire safety tools are very much key to secure property management.
As a property manager, you also don’t have a choice in the matter. The Florida Division of State Fire Marshal explains that structures designated as “apartments” must have sprinkler systems. An apartment is simply a building that has three or more living spaces. Apartments should have sprinkler systems in every major room of the apartment to cover any fire source.
Smoke detectors are also a must-have for secure property management. The International Building Code and National Fire Protection Association both state that smoke detectors must be located inside every bedroom, as well as outside the entrance to every bedroom in the apartment.
Security System Regulations
Unlike the fire protection tools mentioned earlier, security systems like video cameras are optional. However, if you choose to include them to increase the value of your property and services, there are regulations you must abide by.
The first is that you must maintain your security cameras. If one of your residents is robbed in your parking lot but the camera wasn’t operating at the time, you could be legally liable for the damages.
The second regulation you must be aware of is similar, but many business owners aren’t aware of it. If your security camera is fake, meaning it’s not connecting to a security network and there’s no recording hardware of any kind inside it, you’ll be held legally liable if something happens to your residents in its view.
Security cameras are supposed to put your residents at ease, because they know there’s a recording in case anything goes wrong. However, if it’s found that you failed to maintain your systems, or it was fake all along, that’s a breach of trust. Basically, pretending to practice secure property management is more damaging than not doing it at all.
You’re Within Your Rights to Record Your Property
If you’re concerned about damage to your property, there are steps you can take to reduce that likelihood. Property managers can install cameras inside apartments, but there are a handful of limitations here. For one, cameras cannot be installed in private areas like bedrooms or bathrooms. Residents must also be informed of the existence of cameras before moving in, and they must be visible.
Financial Repercussions of Not Maintaining Security and Fire Protection Systems
Failure to maintain security and fire protection systems can lead to significant financial consequences for property managers. These may include:
- Fines and penalties – Non-compliant properties can face regulatory fines, as well as federal penalties if found in violation of federal safety regulations. These fines can be costly and damage the reputation of the property management company.
- Increased insurance premiums – Insurance companies are very interested in knowing that their clients practice secure property management. They often require clients to comply with safety regulations and maintain security and fire protection systems. Failure to do so can result in higher insurance premiums or even loss of coverage.
- Expensive damages to property – The aftermath of a fire can be financially devastating. Property managers may face expenses related to property damage and business interruption while the site is repaired.
- Lawsuits from residents – Failure to maintain systems that result in the harm of, or inability to aid residents (like in the form of a malfunctioning camera) can result in the property manager facing lawsuits.
Best Practices for Maintaining Security and Fire Protection Systems
To avoid the financial and legal consequences of non-compliance, property managers should adhere to best practices for maintaining security and fire protection systems, including:
- Regular inspections – Secure property management includes contacting qualified personnel like those at Millennium Fire & Security to conduct routine system checks is essential to ensuring that all components are functioning correctly and meet code requirements.
- Prompt repairs and updates – Addressing identified issues immediately is crucial to maintaining the integrity of security and fire protection systems. Property managers should ensure that any necessary repairs or updates are completed promptly and in accordance with code requirements.
- Training and education – Property managers are responsible for providing staff with the necessary training to manage and respond to security and fire-related incidents. Additionally, they should ensure that tenants are aware of the safety measures in place and understand their role in maintaining a secure environment.
Streamline Your Secure Property Management Process by Maintaining Your Fire & Security Systems With One Team
Keeping track of the many regulations built around fire and criminal safety tools is a lot when you’re also trying to run a business. We’re here to take the stress completely off your back. Millennium Fire & Security installs and maintains both fire and security systems, including:\
- Security cameras
- Fire sprinklers
- Smoke alarms
- Access controls
We also provide monitoring services for security cameras to alert the authorities at a moment’s notice in case your residents are ever in danger. With Millennium, you’re not just safeguarding yourself from fires and criminals but hefty lawsuits and liabilities as well!
Practice secure property management by contacting us today!