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SG Student owners reminded of fire risk

Property Here - Monday, September 23, 2013

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Many property buyers from Southeast Asia have purchased student accommodation investments in what has been one of the best-performing property asset classes over the past two years – and with thousands of students in the United Kingdom starting their new academic year this week owners are being reminded to check their insurance.

Latest figures reveal the average claim value for a fire related incident in a rented property has risen over the last three years to an estimated £18,000 (S$36,000). The most common cause of fire related claims is as a result of smoking, cooking and faulty or overloaded electrics.

Students moving into shared houses for the first time are likely to be filling plug banks with numerous electrical devises, cook using appliances they are not familiar with and potentially smoking inside the property whilst under the influence of alcohol. 

Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive Officer of Total Landlord Insurance, said: “Many fires could be prevented if tenants took simple preventative measures such as not leaving cooking unattended, not overloading plug banks and ensuring cigarettes are properly extinguished. However, landlords also have a responsibility to ensure their property is suitable for the type of tenant.”

Landlords are encouraged to follow these fire safety measures.

•    Ensure smoke alarms are fitted and working.
•    Ensure the kitchen has a fire blanket.
•    Undertake regular electrical inspections of the property.
•    Do not permit your tenants to smoke in the property.  
•    Discourage use of multi-plugs and extension leads- provide enough sockets in common areas and bedrooms.
•    Encourage tenants to unplug appliances, such as hair straighteners and phone chargers, rather than just turn them off.
•    Encourage tenants not to leave rubbish in the garden and ensure designated rubbish areas are away from the property. 
•    Provide good quality internal doors throughout the accommodation to prevent the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire.
•    Communicate to students the vital need for the exit route to be kept clear at all times (i.e. no large items to be left in the hallway) and arrange an inspection at regular intervals.

Source: Total Landlord Insurance

 

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@propertyguru.com.sg