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How can landlords protect children's safety?

Landlords throughout Chicago, Illinois, have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment on behalf of their tenants. Failing to do so could result in premises liability claims against them.

Of course, a landlord's tenants often include whole families. The children of those families need to have special measures in place to protect them.

What is one of the most key safety areas for children in buildings?

Stairs are a big safety concern in all buildings. Children can easily fall on stairs, get seriously hurt, and even die. The danger is increased by the fact that children are often tempted to play on stairs. To minimize the danger, landlords have to make sure that there are no steps that are damaged in ways that could cause children to trip. They also need to take precautionary measures to keep stairs from getting dirty or wet, since both of those conditions can make them slippery. Rails should be solid, secure, and of sufficient height to keep children from falling off the side of the stairs.

What about lighting?

Lighting is another critical focus for landlords seeking to ensure safety for children in their buildings. In addition to stairs, areas that need to be well lit include hallways, bathrooms and other common areas. That lighting helps children to see obstructions and anything else that could be a danger to them. Having well-lit outside areas also protects children by scaring away unsavory characters who might otherwise lurk in shadows. Landlords can combine consistent outdoor lighting with motion sensor lighting for extra security.

What about inside tenant units?

Landlords should ensure that cabinets and windows have latches that young children cannot open. All sources of electricity should also have covers available for parents so that their children won't be electrocuted. Additionally, landlords should ensure that sources of water don't leak so there won't be water on floors.

Source: RentPrep, "Landlord Safety Tips for the Youngest Tenants," Jennifer Maughan, accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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