Fireworks invoke mixed emotions for landlords: While, of course, they are a popular component to many Fourth of July celebrations, they are also dangerous and can cause rental property damage.
Of course, every holiday year runs the risk of fire-related rental property damage, there is increased risk this year due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Instead of tenants going to professionally put-on fireworks shows or Fourth of July parties held at the homes of their friends and family, more people will be staying home and celebrating on their own—thus increasing the potential for rental property damage from fireworks.
Not only will it be important to minimize rental property damage from fireworks, but it’s also important to mitigate firework-related injuries and burns—especially given current concerns amid hospital room visits.
According to the National Fire Protection Association:
- Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.
- In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks-related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries. These injury estimates were obtained or derived from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2018 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu and Jason Ng.
Lease restrictions about fireworks and noise
Fireworks are bright, beautiful, and NOISY. Aside from the fire hazard fireworks present, the other major issue people have with fireworks is the noise. While for many, the Fourth of July and fireworks can bring a lot of joy, it’s also important to be mindful that many people (and animals) do not enjoy this particular form of celebration. Even if your lease doesn’t have a specific fireworks policy outlined (which you should) it probably has a noise complaint policy.
If you want to gently dissuade your tenants from setting off fireworks while not necessarily having a specific clause regarding rental property damage from fireworks, a good place to start would be reminding them of your noise complaint policy.
Laws pertaining to fireworks
In conjunction with your lease policy, making sure your tenants are aware of local, county, or state laws as it pertains to fireworks and residential areas is also important. While many states allow for some type of consumer fireworks, there are generally restrictions and permit requirements to ensure the order and safety of others.
Additionally, local governing bodies will also have noise ordinances in place that can be useful when working to dissuade tenants from setting off fireworks and preventing firework-related damage to your rental property
Make sure they have renters’ insurance
Another important measure in protecting property from unexpected damage is insisting your tenants obtain renters’ insurance. While your landlord insurance will cover most kinds of property-related damage, it does not cover damage to the tenants’ personal property. If you have RentRedi, your tenants can sign up for renters insurance right from their app, and you can view their insured status via your RentRedi dashboard.
Preventing rental property damage from fireworks
Importantly, be informed of local and state laws regarding consumer fireworks and make sure your tenants understand the legal and financial consequences for any rental property damage from fireworks, whether it be via your lease or breaking local ordinances.
If you’re a RentRedi landlord, you can use our doc sharing feature to make sure that not only does your tenant have an electronic copy of their lease on hand (literally and figuratively!) at all times.
You can also use our in-app notification feature to send a message to your tenants reminding them of any restrictions or policies you have in place regarding rental property damage from fireworks.
Additionally, a note or message regarding the importance of being mindful of neighbors, veterans, and animals in the vicinity could also be helpful when discouraging consumer fireworks in residential areas.