Many benefits come from living in a multi-family dwelling. Shared living situations come with some downsides though as well. Residents have little control over what goes on in the unit next to them. There may be sound, cleanliness and fire issues. The latter, in particular, is a real concern for apartment dwellers.
It’s a property owner’s obligation to keep the premises as safe as possible for their residents. Most jurisdictions have specific guidelines owners must follow for them to deem a multi-family dwelling as habitable. They generally must equip their buildings with fire alarms and sprinkler systems to alert residents about a potential fire if one were to get underway.
While many property owners install these fire protection systems in their buildings, there’s no guarantee that they maintain them in functional order. Even if they do, there are plenty of other hazards that can make escaping a fire difficult, resulting in residents’ injuries.
Apartment management companies must regularly inspect both their residents’ homes and staff areas to ensure that no one is keeping potentially flammable materials next to furnaces or water heaters and that they’re correctly using extension cords. Management must also regularly inspect fire protection systems, including fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, to ensure they’re in working order. It’s their responsibility to keep track of how often they test these devices as well.
A multi-family dwelling’s ownership must also ensure that all stairwell doors are open and that no hazards are on the stairs. It’s also management’s responsibility to declutter hallways and areas around exits to make sure that lights are properly working so that tenants can evacuate.
Tenants have a responsibility to keep their units safe as per their rental contract. It’s ultimately up to property managers to go behind them to see if they’re abiding by their contract, though. You might be entitled to recover medical costs and other damages if you suffered injuries in a fire in Augusta. A burn injuries attorney will want to learn more about the fire that maimed you and review investigative reports before letting you know what type of compensation you may be due under existing Georgia laws.