Now that hurricane season has begun, as always, the safety of our residents and team members is a priority. We’ve been proactively preparing for the hurricane season to make sure our residents are informed and ready for any storm. Here’s what you need to know:
• We will do our best to communicate to you via email prior to major storms in your area.
• To ensure we have your best contact information, please take a minute to update it on the online Resident Portal or FirstKey Homes mobile app.
• Create a Hurricane Kit with nonperishable food, bottled water, flashlights, weather radio, batteries, chargers, and pet supplies. Ensure your important documents are safe and that you have any medications needed.
• Please keep in mind residents are responsible for sandbags, hurricane shutters, or window boarding. We do not provide or reimburse, but we encourage and welcome residents to consider these precautions. If you choose to do so, it would be best to buy those supplies now before storms approach.
• Remember to bring all outside furniture and toys inside the home or garage.
• Identify your evacuation routes and plan multiple options if possible.
• Be aware of important safety guidelines before operating a portable generator at your home. Please see the Generator Safety and Best Practices section below for details.
• If you’ve experienced any damage to your home, report it using the online Resident Portal or our mobile app. Add pictures if possible. (Call 844.395.3959 if you don’t have Internet or data service.)
• Our local team members will prioritize inspections based on damages and our ability to get to the home.
• Report damages to personal property to your rental insurance provider immediately.
Please visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes for more information about hurricane preparedness and safety.
Our teams will be here before, during, and after any storm to support you. Thank you for being a part of the FirstKey Homes family.
Generator Safety and Best Practices
We want to ensure that all residents are operating generators safely in the event of a power outage. Our homes are not equipped with standby generators nor the proper systems to accommodate generators powering electrical circuits. For residents with access to a portable generator, FirstKey Homes requires that it be operated according to all manufacturer’s guidelines and with appropriate caution and concern for health and safety. Most importantly, for your safety, generators must always be placed outside — not inside the home or even in a garage — when being used. Placing generators inside the home is dangerous.
Generators may not be connected directly into a home’s electrical system. This is a safety issue and has the potential to damage the home. Modifying the electrical panel to accommodate a portable generator is unsafe and not authorized in the terms of your lease.
Be aware that generators can cause dangerous hazards such as:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from the engine exhaust pipe
Here are some safety tips:
Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the generator.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Do not use a generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces, including homes, garages, and crawl spaces – even those areas with partial ventilation.
Do not place outside near open doors and windows. Using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Do not place the generator in front of open windows.
Do not assume that you are safe. Be aware that carbon monoxide fumes emitted by gasoline, propane, diesel or gas engines can be fatal. As carbon monoxide is odorless, people are not aware of its presence.
Install carbon monoxide alarms inside your home to alert you of dangerous levels. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended placement.
Electrocution or electric shock
Always connect the generator to the appliances with heavy-duty extension cords.
As a reminder, do not connect a generator directly to your home’s electrical system. Doing so is not authorized in the terms of your lease and can be a safety hazard.
Keep your generator outside and fuel your generator outside.
Do not store fuel for your generator in your house. Gasoline, propane, kerosene, diesel and other flammable liquids should be stored outside living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers.
Do not store fuel near a fuel-burning appliance, for example a gas stove.
If the fuel is spilled or the container is not sealed properly, invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and be ignited by the appliance’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches.
Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline or other flammable liquids spilled on hot engine parts could ignite, and invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and be ignited by the generator’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance.
Here are safety considerations from FEMA regarding the safe use of portable generators:
A quick reference guide can be found here: Generator Quick Reference Guide.