Most people don’t even realize it, but cooking is one of the biggest causes of fires in residential areas. According to the National Fire Protection Association, from the years 2007-2011, cooking related fires racked up over $853 million in property damage.

If you’re a landlord or a property manager, it is always a good idea to put a little booklet about fire prevention in your new tenant documents, or even just have it sent out as a newsletter. Here are a few tips you can add in to help your residents play it safe:

Be careful when cooking with grease. Grease catches fire very quickly, but knowing how to deal with it can save lives. All you have to do is remove oxygen from the pan that is on fire by turning off the heat, placing a lid on top and holding it there. You always want to be careful not to burn yourself while doing so, and never move the pot or pan from the heat source as that can add oxygen and feed the fire. If the fire is too large, it’s important to get everyone out of the house and call 911.

Paying attention to your cooking is also important, even when it’s an outdoor grill. Stay alert while you are cooking and never leave grills or stoves unattended while cooking. Additionally, make sure that children are kept away from heat sources. When you are cooking, make sure that pot handles are turned inward, and that children are made aware that hot surfaces are just better left alone. Never allow kids to be unattended near grills. When you are grilling, try to make sure that the grills are located at least ten feet away from your home or apartment building.

Keeping your cooking areas neat and clean is also important. Plastic ware, packaging, and other things can easily ignite when greasy, and so can your dish towels and pot holders. Additionally, here are some smoke detector tips that will help you keep residents safe:


  • Make sure that there are smoke detectors in each bedroom, outside the sleeping areas, and on every level of the apartment or house.
  • Have these alarms tested each month via the “test” button
  • Make sure the batteries are replaced once yearly or when the chirp alarm goes off
  • If you do have residents that have children, consider installing voice alarms. These smoke detectors also have an instructional command in addition to the basic alarm.


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Kurt Kroeck has written articles in real estate, law, and art related niches for a number of high profile publications. He is an avid WW2 re-enactor, artist in graphite, charcoal, and digital media. He volunteers in animal rescue and enjoys spending time with his children.