Melbourne-based firm Safe and Sound Property Inspections urges Australian cities to conduct more inspections and update property inspection systems to avoid deadly and damaging fires.
Melbourne, VIC -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/21/2015 -- Safe and Sound Property InspectionsTM, a Melbourne-based firm, says Australian governments should consider tightening housing and building laws and increasing inspections to avoid destructive fires. The company further suggests that cities bring themselves up to date on conditions in rental complexes, which may be currently unmonitored. Safe and SoundTM mentions these suggestions in light of several recent fires in the United States involving rooming houses that exposed violations and even flaws in city codes.
The latest of multiple fires that broke out in Spring Valley, New York, involved an illegally converted dormitory that revealed electrical violations and lack of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, among others. A deadly fire in Omaha, Nebraska, that killed 2 people also involved a rooming house that lacked detectors and fire extinguishers and was generally not up to code. Apparently, the boarding house had already existed years before the city began imposing safety requirements for rental properties. However, such incidents are not far from home. A Docklands apartment tower had also caught fire in November last year, expelling over 400 residents from their homes. Inspectors are still investigating what caused the fire and how it may have spread so quickly.
In spite of these events, an American city has made timely changes to its rental property inspection system that could provide a way to prevent fires and provide safer housing. Burlington, Vermont, is setting a good example with the recent adjustments to its system for inspecting non-owner occupied properties. Under the new system, rental properties will be certified up to code from one to five years, depending on their degree of compliance with city codes. The lowest-rating properties will receive a certificate that is good for one year, which means a visit from an inspector in the next year, as opposed to five years for those properties in very good standing.
Safe and SoundTM believes that such inspection policies as those of Burlington are not only pre-emptive measures against fires, but are also tools for promotion and evaluation for the rental sector. Landlords get to promote the quality of their rental units using the city's inspection rating. Tenants become better informed as to where it is more ideal to live and proceed cautiously with rental complexes that have lower ratings. Meanwhile, landlords with lower ratings are persuaded to draw level and be fully up to code themselves. Overall, such a property inspection system will cut city governments some slack in enforcing city codes and perhaps allow them to catch up on their backlogs of property inspections, if they have.
Mark Brandon, head inspector at Safe and Sound Property InspectionsTM, agrees that cities do need to reassess their ordinances and keep a closer eye on rental properties. "We never know what goes on inside these buildings. We never know when the next fire is going up next. Conducting more frequent inspections allows us to keep closer tabs on the level of safety of rental units. Changing our inspections systems for the better won't hurt, either."
To learn more about property inspections from Safe and SoundTM, feel free to visit http://www.safeandsoundpropertyinspections.com.
About Safe and Sound Property InspectionsTM
Safe and Sound Property InspectionsTM know the common faults to look for in any kind of property. They are a team of fully licensed and accredited building practitioners who can provide a comprehensive inspection according to Australian standards. For inquiries, contact Mark Brandon at firstname.lastname@example.org, or catch him on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.