Apartment living has come a long way in recent years. Property owners know that, in order to attract tenants, they have to provide amenities, upgrade units and make sure the complex has curb appeal. Prospective tenants often look for these things when choosing an apartment here in The Woodlands, and your loved one was probably no exception.
While your family member may have focused on amenities and remodeled units, the property owner should have considered the safety of the building. Even though it may seem as though apartment fires are rare, they do happen, and complexes must comply with local, state and federal regulations when it comes to fire safety. In some cases, it is not until someone loses his or her life that these attributes become important.
Where are the dangers?
The majority of apartment fires result from the actions of tenants, but the survivability of these fires often depends more on the property owner's diligence in making the building safe. Below are some of the most common causes of residential fires:
- Cooking accidents seem to top a lot of lists when it comes to the origin of residential fires, not just those in apartments. Cooking with grease and oil, leaving a stove unattended, and the proximity of combustible materials all contribute to these fires.
- Smoking is another primary cause of residential fires. If someone fails to put out a cigarette, smokes in bed, or leaves lighters and matches where children can reach them, a fire can easily start.
- Candles create ambiance and make your home smell good. However, any open flame can provide an ignition source for a fire.
- The manufacturing process for furniture has improved when it comes to fire safety, but when they do alight, they often do so quickly. They also tend to produce toxic fumes that can make escaping a fire more difficult if inhaled.
- One of the amenities that tenants may find attractive is a fireplace. While they provide heating and ambiance, they can also cause fires if not used and cleaned properly.
These are just the sources of fires that may result from the actions of your loved one's neighbors. If the apartment complex's electrical systems are faulty, fire alarms and fire extinguishers are not maintained and inspected routinely, exit routes are blocked, or doors are left open that would provide oxygen to a fire, what may have been contained within a single apartment could quickly spread through the building. In some cases, fire alarms and fire extinguishers are missing. Without a warning system and a way to control a small fire, a catastrophe could easily occur.
Did you lose a loved one in an apartment fire?
Losing someone you love is never easy, but when it comes through a sudden event, such as a fire, the grief generally seems worse. Until you get the answers you need, questions regarding what happened and why can plague you. You may also feel the need to hold the parties believed responsible accountable for your loss.
A thorough investigation into the fire could reveal whom those parties are. Thereafter, you can seek justice, closure and financial compensation for the loss of your loved one. Cases involving apartment fires often involve complex issues, and property owners tend to close ranks quickly. Fortunately, you do not have to go it alone in this pursuit. Having a legal advocate by your side from the beginning can increase your chances of success.