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Apartment fires and tenant safety

Fire safety is a major concern for tenants when they are apartment shopping in Miami-Dade. However, some residential buildings may not be properly designed to keep tenants safe in the event of fires. Although property owners are providing their tenants with a place to live, they are also required to take reasonable actions to ensure that their tenants are safe from fires.

According to Employers Mutual Casualty Company, the risk of property damage, injury and death for apartment fires is greater than it is for fires that occur in other residential buildings. The likelihood of any other residential establishment catching fire is equal to that of an apartment fire occurrence. The amount of property damage that occurs from residential fires costs property owners over $6 billion dollars annually. They also report that 13,000 victims sustain injuries and 2,500 people lose their lives from 400,000 fires that occur in residential buildings each year.

A study by the National Fire Protection Association shows that annually, house fires were the cause of seven deaths each day from 2009 to 2013. During this time, there were 335 residential fires that were reported. Apartment and house fires were caused by several factors:

  • Smoking products
  • Cooking materials
  • Electrical equipment

A lack of operational smoke alarms and the nonexistence of smoke alarms were associated with three out five residential fire casualties. Bedrooms were the site of origin for 24 percent of fatal residential fires, with the kitchen being the starting location for 16 percent of them. It also states that people who are most likely to die from house fires are seniors.

Although they can occur at any time, some apartment fires can be prevented. Property owners who do not work to protect their property from this threat also put their tenants’ safety at risk.

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