4 Investor Tips For Fire Safety Requirements for Buildings, Construction Safety and More
One of a commercial real estate (CRE) investor’s main responsibilities is ensuring their investment property is safe. There are two main reasons for this. First, tenants expect (and deserve) safety in their chosen place of residence. And, second, building owners need to produce safe commercial buildings to attract and protect those tenants as well as reduce long-term costs and liability.
To avoid damages, potential loss of life, legal disputes and high insurance premiums, CRE investors must meet or exceed commercial building safety requirements that range from construction safety to fire safety requirements for buildings.
Here are some tips on how to keep a commercial real estate investment property safe and secure:
1. Obtain Building Safety Inspections for All New Buildings & Alterations
Every time an investor purchases a commercial property or makes alterations to an existing commercial property, they should obtain an inspection. Commercial building inspections analyze the current condition of the property upon purchase, whereas building safety inspections are necessary for construction projects. During building safety inspections, a local government official will ensure the structure is up to certain safety standards and building codes.
Furthermore, there is a third form of inspection known as an enforcement inspection. It’s typically conducted in response to a safety complaint. To avoid such an inspection, routinely ensure the property is safe and remains up to code.
2. Implement a Tenant Protection Plan for Construction Safety
When commercial buildings turn into construction sites, it’s important that building owners implement tenant protection plans. These plans outline how the contractor and owner will protect tenants during construction to avoid service disruptions. The plan should address egress, fire protection, health measures, compliance with housing standards, structural safety, noise restrictions and the maintenance of essential services, including gas, hot and cold water, electricity or other utilities.
3. Ensure Building Site Safety with a Licensed & Insured Construction Team
It’s always essential to partner with licensed and insured construction workers to ensure building site safety. Utilizing an insured contractor who carries liability and worker’s compensation insurance means commercial real estate investors are not held liable for workplace safety hazards. Such construction teams are also more likely to be diligent about workplace safety and the use of protective equipment, such as construction barriers, hard hats or padding.
It’s also important to hire a general contractor who follows the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards for construction safety. OSHA offers tips on how to prevent hazards on-site and provides safety training programs.
4. Understand & Enforce Fire Safety Requirements for Buildings
OSHA also sets the fire safety requirements for commercial buildings. Every commercial real estate investor should understand and enforce the following major fire safety requirements:
- Install and maintain commercial fire alarm systems and fire sprinkler systems
- Ensure the address is clearly visible from the street in case of emergency
- Implement a design that provides easy access for firefighters
- Maintain proper signage (exit signs, fire equipment locations and exit plans) throughout the building
- Incorporate fire equipment throughout the building (ex. fire extinguishers)
Overall, commercial building safety is imperative to the health and wellbeing of tenants as well as the protection of the investment and investor. In fact, these safety precautions and code requirements are necessary by law. Though it may seem costly and/or time-consuming, ensuring your commercial investment is safe and sound for tenants saves investors from potential liability that could be even more costly down the road. Additionally, such improvements could even increase the overall value of the property.
About Extensia Financial
Established in 1998 and headquartered in Simi Valley, CA, Extensia Financial offers competitive and collaborative commercial loans. We partner with credit unions and brokers to connect them to investors across the United States. Additionally, we uniquely support and guide our partners through the entire full lifecycle of our loans. Extensia Financial is a proud member of the AVANA Family of Companies.