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How To Child-Proof Your Multifamily Building

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Whether you’re a parent or not, the most important thing is to keep children safe.  It’s especially essential to prospects that have families, and to you as a property manager. It’s against the law to discriminate against families with children, so you must assume they’ll be living at your property at some point (if they’re not already). Either way, it’s crucial that you follow child-proofing methods to prevent an accident where you might be held accountable. 

You know ManageGo has always got your back, so read this guide to learn or be reminded about child-proofing methods you should follow. And don’t worry, this isn’t an expensive investment! 

Child-proofing Stairs: 

You want every resident to feel safe and be safe at your property, not just children, so make sure that hand railings and balconies are sturdy and can hold strong against a child hanging from the rails or an adult reaching for a railing to avoid falling. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that all steps or stairs are slip-proof and the pathways leading to them are clear. 

Installing Window Locks: 

Window locks are imperative for residents with children because you don’t ever want to be held responsible for a child falling out the window. Even a fall inside the main lobby can hurt a child, or a fall from the first floor, or…well, we’re sure you get the point.  For your own peace of mind, have window latches on every window in your building. 

For families that live on the higher floors, you’ll want to ensure you take the proper precautions to child-proof those windows. Accidentally falling from such a high level can lead to major injury or even death. In some states (like New York, for example), window guards must be installed in a multifamily building containing three or more units if a child under the age of 10 lives there. However, even in states that don’t legally require them, you should still consider it anyway. It’s a very small investment to avoid being held responsible for an accident on your property. 

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors are Required Safety Protocols:  

A working fire alarm can be the difference between life and death for residents. Whether you have children on your property or not, as a property manager, you are legally obligated to make certain that your smoke detectors work. 

Frequently check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors during routine inspections. You never know how many of your residents might have tweaked the alarm for whatever reason.  Prevent anything unsafe from happening all together by monitoring them. 

Limit Liability For Pools and Fencing: 

Fencing can go both ways. It can either be a hazard prevention or a safety hazard in itself depending on how and where it was put. If you have fencing anywhere on your property, especially surrounding a resident pool, follow these hazard-prevention guidelines. 

A child’s foot can get caught in chain-link fencing, so unless slatting is installed, a chain-link fence should have a mesh size of no more than 1.25 inches. In addition, child-proofed fences for pools need to be at least four feet high and have rails that aren’t more than four inches apart. This will prevent the little ones from trying to climb it like it’s the monkey bars. 

Learn more about enforcing rules in a community swimming pool at your multifamily building. 

In-Unit Hazard Prevention 

Now that you know how to take the proper precautions on the outside of your property and in resident areas, it’s time to discuss in-unit safety for babies and younger children. 

Families with young children will definitely child-proof or baby-proof their apartment, but you’re allowed to ask them to make it as damage-free as possible. Property managers and parents will need to work together in order to make compromises that protect the child and your property from any harm or damage. 

Try recommending that residents use pressure-mounted gates in doorways instead of putting holes in your property’s walls.  You can also suggest that they use locks that won’t cause damage to cupboards and doors. We’re in a new age that’s all about convenience, and cordless blinds, curtains, or shades will have you and your residents feeling stress-free. However, if that’s out of your budget, you can give residents a small set of cord wraps to help prevent accidents.

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