Personal Injury

Injured in an Apartment Fire? 8 Tips for Understanding Your Rights

Apartment fire

Each year, many people are injured in an apartment fire at no fault of their own. 

Often, it’s the delay of smoke alarms to alert tenants of a fire in the building. This comes as a direct result and negligence of the property owner. Each complex must abide by standard codes for fire safety and the complex owner should not take this lightly. 

Unfortunately, most complex owners are trying to keep their costs down by any means necessary and that includes not taking the proper precautions of maintaining smoke alarms throughout the complex. 

Tips For Protecting Your Loved Ones

Below are a few tips about what you need to know when it comes to your safety and your protection while living in a multi-family building. 

As required by code:

  1. Your complex should properly interconnect hallway smoke alarms appropriate for use in common hallways as to alert every floor of a fire in the building. 
  2. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, replace smoke alarms in the common hallway every 10 years. 
  3. Per the manufacturer’s instructions, your complex should test the common hallway smoke alarms on a weekly basis. 
  4. The hallway smoke alarms must be installed by a licensed electrician, which ensures that the correct smoke alarm is being used in common areas such as a hallway. 

It is the responsibility of the property owner to install, replace, test, inspect and maintain appropriate smoke alarms in compliance with applicable codes and manufacturer’s requirements.

What Should I have Documented if I’ve Lost Possessions in an Apartment Fire?

As soon as it is safe to return, document and investigate the damage from the fire. This should include:

  1. Photos of damage; 
  2. List of damaged property; 
  3. Personal statement: What did you see, hear or smell just before and during the incident. Be as specific as possible providing times to the best of your knowledge; 
  4. Witness Statement(s): Talk to your neighbors and gather as much information from them as possible including their personal recollection of the event and always be sure to write down their contact information for your attorney

If you have been injured in an apartment fire due to the delay in warning devices by your complex, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free case evaluation with an experienced attorney, please call Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys at 248-531-8665. 

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