Six Ideas To Keep Your Duplex Out Of The Headlines

keep fire extinguisher in duplexEvery morning I get email updates from Google that contain links to all the duplex news happening around the country and in Minneapolis and St Paul.

Almost every single one of them is about a fire in a duplex.

In fact, this morning I learned about a duplex fire in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, which is one of the most popular rental areas in the Twin Cities.

The duplex looks like a total loss.

These headlines serve as daily reminders of the importance of doing all you can to eliminate the risk of fire.

Here are a  6 ideas to keep your duplex from becoming a Google headline:

  • Keep anything combustible, like bags, paper or rags, at least 10 feet from any appliance that uses gas, like the furnace or boiler, stove, or water heater.
  • Install at least one smoke detector on every level of your duplex. And of course, always make sure the batteries are in good working order.
  • Be sure you have a smoke detector close to any room a tenant sleeps in.
  • Make sure a tenant’s path to any window or door that might serve as an egress is free of clutter and debris.
  • If you have a third floor in your duplex, make sure there are two ways for tenants to get out.
  • In Minneapolis, duplexes are not required to have fire extinguishers. However, it might not be a bad idea to make sure there’s one or two in each unit, as well as in any common area, like the laundry room.

These safety measures don’t cost much. And they will help both you, and your tenants, sleep better at night.