It can be difficult to imagine anything worse than a fire devastating a family’s life. From the burn injuries, the potential for lost lives, the lost keepsakes, and the emotional trauma of the experience, it is nothing that we would wish on anyone. If you have lived through this in a rented apartment building, then your landlord could be held entirely or partially at fault.
Situations in Which Landlords May Be Responsible for Apartment Fires
A landlord is not automatically at fault because there was a fire at their local apartment building. For example, if it was caused by a tenant lighting a candle, then the landlord may not have been able to predict or prevent it.
However, there may be legal steps they should have taken to keep the building safe from fire. For example, the landlord s responsible for ensuring the wiring in the building is in good condition and has been safely installed, that fireproof doors have been installed, that smoker alarms work and are located as required by law, that there is a safe and sturdy fire escape, and that the fire escape is clear.
The landlord is responsible for regularly servicing fire extinguishers on their property and they are responsible for keeping escape routes clear. If they do not do so, and a fire breaks out and results in the injury or death of someone in their building, then the landlord can be held legally accountable.
Apartments Must Have Smoke Detectors
It is essential that every unit has a smoke detector in it. Depending on the size of said apartment, several may be needed. If the apartment is lacking smoke detectors altogether, or they are not in the right place or are not working, then the tenant may not be aware of a fire until it is too late.
State law requires that there be a smoke detector outside of each sleeping area, one in each bedroom, and one in the kitchen. In the case of studio apartments, at least two detectors must be present. The regulations can vary from one building to another but your personal injury attorney will know.
Apartments Must Have Fire Extinguishers
Likewise, landlords are required to have fire extinguishers. You should know where it is located, whether it is in your unit or in a hallway. The regulations on this vary – in some cases you may need to have one (or more) in your unit and in others, the requirement is simply to have one on your floor. If your landlord does not follow these regulations, and a fire does occur, then they can be found at fault.
If you have been injured in a fire, or have lost substantial physical property, then your landlord may be found at fault. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now to speak to an attorney who can help you build a case.