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What safety equipment is required in a rental property?

What safety equipment is required in a rental property?

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Are you planning on investing in your first Portland Oregon Rental Property? If so, one of the most important things to do before renting the property is to make sure that it has the right safety equipment which ensures that your tenant stays safe while living there.

In this article we will share with you the top safety equipment that you should install in your PDX rental property.

Safety Equipment For Your Rental Property 

The safety equipment required in a rental property can vary depending on local regulations and building codes. However, there are some common safety features and equipment that landlords typically provide to ensure the well-being of tenants. Keep in mind that these may not be exhaustive, and you should always check local regulations for specific requirements. Here are some general safety equipment considerations:

  1. Smoke Alarms: Most jurisdictions require smoke alarms to be installed in various locations throughout the property, including bedrooms and common areas. It’s essential to regularly test and maintain these alarms.
  2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors: In areas where there is a risk of carbon monoxide exposure, detectors are often required. They are typically installed near bedrooms or in areas where fuel-burning appliances are present.
  3. Fire Extinguishers: Providing fire extinguishers in easily accessible locations can be a safety requirement. Regular maintenance and checking of expiration dates are crucial.
  4. Emergency Exit Routes: Ensuring that there are clear and unobstructed emergency exit routes is essential. Windows should be easily operable, and doors should not be blocked.
  5. Fire Safety Equipment: Depending on local regulations, landlords may need to provide additional fire safety equipment such as fire-resistant doors, fire-resistant materials, or sprinkler systems.
  6. First Aid Kit: While not always a legal requirement, having a basic first aid kit in the property can be a good practice to address minor injuries or emergencies.
  7. Security Measures: Depending on the area, security measures like deadbolt locks, peepholes, or security systems may be recommended for the safety of the tenants.
  8. Window Guards: In some locations, especially where there are young children, window guards may be required to prevent falls.
  9. Railings and Handrails: Stairways and balconies should have sturdy railings and handrails to prevent accidents and injuries.
  10. Water Heater Straps: Strapping the water heater to the wall may be required in earthquake-prone areas to prevent it from tipping over during seismic activity.

It’s important for landlords to stay informed about local safety regulations and codes. They should also conduct regular inspections and maintenance to ensure that all safety equipment is in good working condition. Additionally, clear communication with tenants about safety procedures and emergency contacts can contribute to a safer living environment.

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Safety Equipment And Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are by far the most important equipment that landlords must install in their rental properties because, smoke alarms save lives and ensure that tenants have enough warning to get out of a rental property should fire occur.

ORS 479.270 states the following:

The owner of any rental dwelling unit or the owner’s authorized agent shall be responsible for supplying, installing and maintaining the required smoke alarms or smoke detectors and shall provide a written notice containing instructions for testing of the devices. The notice shall be given to the tenant at the time the tenant first takes possession of the premises.
The duty of the owner or authorized agent of the owner to maintain the required smoke alarms or smoke detectors, including providing working batteries, arises only:

Prior to the beginning of every new tenancy when the tenant first takes possession of the premises; and

During the tenancy upon written notice from the tenant of any deficiency, not including replacing dead batteries, as provided in ORS 479.275 (Tenant of rental dwelling unit to test smoke alarm or smoke detector and replace dead batteries).

Supplying and maintaining a smoke alarm or smoke detector under ORS 479.250 (Definitions for ORS 479.250 to 479.305) to 479.305 (Smoking policy disclosure) shall be considered a habitable condition under ORS 90.320 (Landlord to maintain premises in habitable condition). [1979 c.642 §5; 1993 c.369 §19; 1999 c.307 §6]

Don’t Forget To Check Your Appliances Annually

Besides including the right safety equipment in your rental property, you should also make it a priority to check your appliances annually because, appliance fires occur every year due to the build up of dust, dirt and debris.
  • HVAC System – Have your heating system inspected, serviced, and cleaned at least once a year.  Proper maintenance can extend the life of your furnace, postponing an expensive replacement.  Remind your tenants to change air filters regularly, and provide them with extra filters to make sure it gets done – this is an inexpensive maintenance task that can prevent major HVAC problems.
  • Washer/Dryer – Lint and debris can build up over time in dryer vents, which can damage the appliance and even cause fires. While the dryer is running, check that the exhaust is coming out. If there isn’t much exhaust, check for blockages and clear them as well as you can. You may need a professional. Also may also need to vacuum the lint from the hose at the dryer.
  • Stove/Oven – Make sure each heating element works properly if electric and that gas lines are clear and burners ignite appropriately for gas stoves.
  • Refrigerator – Make sure the refrigerator maintains an appropriate and accurate temperature to keep food safely stored.  Check any other supplied kitchen appliances to make sure they are functioning (dishwasher, garbage disposal, etc.)
  • Water Heater – Check the temperature to make sure it is set below 120° F to prevent scalding. Test safety relief valve once a year to ensure proper operation and flush the system to remove sediment buildup which can cause a system failure.
  • Plumbing – Check water supply and pressure on all sinks and showers: Does water flow properly? Flush the toilet to make sure it drains and refills properly without leaking any water.


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