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If you live in an apartment or a condo, your safety is in the hands of the building manager. How trusting can you afford to be?

An article in the St. Petersburg Florida paper describes a premises liability lawsuit where two residents were killed in a condominium complex due to faulty fire extinguishing systems. A post-fire investigation revealed that valves in the sprinkler system were improperly shut off and there was inadequate water supply for the fire suppression system. These problems allowed a fire to spread more than it should have, resulting in death and property loss.

Residents in apartments or condominiums need to be informed and vigilant when it comes to the regular fire safety inspections that must be conducted by the homeowners association or the building superintendent. Tenants should demand to observe, or to see the results of, all fire safety system inspections and testing.

Tenants should also report any improper smoking by a fellow tenant in non-smoking buildings. A careless tenant smoking in bed could ignite a catasptrophic fire affecting all other residents. Tenants should have a committee to oversee the building owner’s compliance with fire codes and regulations, instead of blindly trusting the building manager to take safety seriously.

In these profit-driven times, no one should completely trust their safety to anotther individual, escially in multi-dwelling living spaces where one person’s mistake could affect many others.

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