November 2, 2018
In 2017, 95,000 fires occurred in apartment buildings within the United States. The damages estimated around $1,600,000,000. There were 340 civilian deaths due to these fires in apartment buildings. 3,130 civilian injuries occurred during these fires.
During the 1970’s, apartment buildings were only required to be sprinkled if they were three or more stories in height and constructed of combustible materials. In 1998, the City of Huntsville adopted the 1997 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code that required all new apartment buildings be sprinkled unless the apartment building met specific requirements to ensure occupants could exit safely. However existing apartment buildings do not have to meet the newer requirements.
Unattended cooking continues to be the leading cause of fires within the City of Huntsville. The Fire Marshal’s office would like to encourage everyone to use extreme caution while cooking and follow safe cooking methods.
It is beneficial to look for fire protection features such as fire alarm systems and automatic sprinkler systems when looking for an apartment. It is, also, helpful to have renter’s insurance to cover your personal belongings in case of a fire.