If you own or manage an apartment building or complex, then you may think that your worries of residents slipping and falling on your apartment grounds are ending as the ice is melting away this spring. While ice covering your parking lots, building steps, and walkways is a huge winter hazard to your residents, don't think you are in the clear this spring, summer and fall when it comes to potential resident accidents and claims. Keep an eye on the following warm-weather hazards to residents in and around your buildings, so you don't have to deal with injured residents blaming you for their accidents.
1. Inspect Outdoor Grilling Areas
If your apartment building or complex has outdoor grilling areas where residents can cook up a few hamburgers or steaks, then take steps now to make sure these areas are in good condition and not ticking time-bombs for accident claims.
Check out the condition of the grills to make sure there are no sharp pieces of metal poking out anywhere and the ground underneath is in good condition. If you haven't already, post a "grill at your own risk" sign above all of the grills to ensure you don't have people trying to blame you for any burns or accidents that occur while they are enjoying the grills.
2. Check Apartment Steps for Winter Damage
During the winter, your main goal when inspecting apartment steps was likely to ensure they were ice-free. Now that the ice is gone, it is time to inspect steps and stairways for any damage that may have occurred over the cold, snowy winter.
Concrete steps can crack easily during the winter when temperatures fluctuate, and small cracks can turn into large ones when water gets into them and expands when it freezes. Give all steps in and around your buildings a good inspection, and immediately repair or replace any stairs that show signs of damage.
3. Perform Needed Maintenance of Fitness Room Equipment
If you have a fitness room in your building, then remember that this is the time of year when residents will begin using it more frequently to get in shape for swimsuit season. Inspect every piece of fitness equipment to make sure it is in good working order, and perform maintenance, such as lubricating wheels and pulleys on weight-training machines. Hire a professional to come inspect and perform maintenance on the equipment if you are unsure what to look for during inspections.
While waiting for a professional inspection, don't be afraid to place an "out-of-order" sign on any machine that you suspect is hazardous. It may be a small inconvenience to your residents, but it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to resident injuries occurring when using faulty exercise machines.
4. Inspect Pool Areas and De-winterize Pools Properly
Your pools and the grounds around your pools are the largest resident hazard this spring and summer. It is very important that the grounds around your pools have good traction and that you have fences around your pools that are required by state laws. Check the locks at gated entryways to your pools to ensure they are working properly to keep residents out of the pool when you declare it is closing time.
Aside form slip-and-falls and drowning accidents in pools, diving injuries are very common pool hazards. To protect yourself from injuries that can easily occur with diving, it is important to place a "no diving" sign that is easily visible by everyone entering the pool area. To be safe, place one next to the pool entryway and another facing the interior of the pool area. Drowning accidents are most common among children, so your pool signs should also state that any child under a certain age (you can decide this age, but older is better) must be accompanied by an adult.
It is also important to have your swimming pools de-winterized properly, and an important part of that is adding the correct chemicals to keep the water sanitary and not a haven for bacteria or algae growth. This is another step you can do yourself, if you feel confident in your pool knowledge. However, if you are unsure whether you are prepared for this task, then there are many pool technicians who can come get your pools ready for you.
Be aware of spring and summer resident safety hazards if you own or manage an apartment building or complex. Once you have done all of the above important safety inspections and maintenance procedure, is is always a good idea to have a personal injury or slip and fall attorney further inspect your legal documents to check for any loopholes you may have missed that you could end up in a lawsuit against you if a resident injures themselves. For more ideas, look at this website for a slip and fall attorney option.