Landlords and Apartment Renters Safety and Compliance Tips

​Perhaps nothing is as devastating as fire out of control. Fire can kill, disable, and completely disrupt people’s lives. Fire can ruin businesses and destroy livelihoods. According to the US Fire Administration, 20 percent of fires in the United States occur in apartments.

These safety pages are provided to help equip you with the information you need to significantly reduce the possibility of fire occurring in your complex. If you have questions pertaining to any information contained in this manual, contact the Bellingham Fire Prevention Bureau.

Working with the Fire Department

The information provided in this online manual, regarding fire and life safety, is intended to raise your awareness of safety issues and assist you in recognizing potential problems. To supplement the information in this manual, the Bellingham Fire Department is available for use in employee and tenant training. On-going education and training is essential.

As a manager or landlord, you have the ability to significantly reduce safety hazards by being observant and by following up on concerns forwarded to you by tenants.

Tenant Complaints

Occasionally complaints are received and evaluated by the Bellingham Fire Prevention Bureau. The first question asked is, “Have you notified your apartment manager or landlord?” If not, it is usually suggested they notify the manager prior to any intervention by the Bellingham Fire Department.

If fire department intervention occurs, an inspector will first discuss the concern with the manager and perform an inspection to evaluate the situation. If a problem exists, the inspector will then present recommended solutions to the manager and agree on a reasonable time frame for correction.

Manager Complaints/Landlord Complaints

If the tenant is maintaining an unsafe condition, the fire department, when requested by the manager or landlord, will determine if intervention is called for and the type of intervention necessary. Often, as a manager or landlord, the lease may allow you the ability to act on a problem, depending on the nature of the situation.