A fire broke out this week at an Aurora, MO self-storage facility resulting in losses for several tenants.
According to KYTV, one tenant reported that they had belongings in a unit for 16 years. Among their possessions was their marriage license, pictures of their daughter and supplies for a home remodel.
While a cause has not official been determined, it is suspected that someone may have been living inside of a unit illegally.
Meanwhile in West Virginia, a woman is suing a self-storage facility after her possessions were destroyed by water used to put out a fire that erupted on the roof.
As these cases demonstrate, fires are a risk that self-storage owners and managers must be vigilant against at all times.
Here are a few ways that you can help prevent fires at your self-storage facility:
1. Watch Out For Squatters
One of the biggest causes of fires at self-storage facilities is from people illegally living in units. Homeless individuals squatting in self-storage units may use candles, propane or kerosene to keep warm, and these of course can easily cause a fire.
Routinely inspect units and check security camera footage to identify any potential stowaways.
2. Prohibit Smoking
Cigarettes are another common cause of fires. Eliminate this risk, and encourage healthy habits, by banning smoking on your premises.
3. Check Smoke Detectors
Be sure to regularly check and test smoke detectors, and replace backup batteries as needed.
4. Install and Maintain Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers should be available throughout your facility in the event that a fire starts. Make sure that fire extinguishers are charged and not expired.
5. Perform a Routine Inspection Everyday
Your management staff should include checking for potential fire hazards among their end of day duties. For example, make sure the trash area is tidy and free of dangerous items like oily rags.
With proper prevention you can greatly reduce the risk of fires at your facility.