Fire prevention effort highlights Chicago apartment injuries, landlord liability

Gov. Pat Quinn has proclaimed September to be Campus Fire Safety Month in Illinois, urging students, schools and landlords to ensure fire safety as the new school year begins.

More than 100 students have died in off-campus fires in the last decade and many more have been injured, according to the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Illegally divided apartments or campus-area apartments without adequate fire protection or emergency exits are a common danger. A Chicago injury lawyer or wrongful death attorney can assist students and families in the wake of a serious or fatal fire.

Landlords have an obligation to provide secure properties; adequate fire protection is just one example. Safe porches and stairways are another. As we reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, several people were injured over the weekend in accidents involving collapsing porches.

In making the announcement, the governor pointed to the case of Tanner Osborn, a 22-year-old college student who died along with two other classmates in a 2005 Chicago apartment fire. The apartment had no working smoke detector. Tanner’s mother started “LOOK UP! Pay it Forward” as a way to remind students to look up for working smoke detectors in all student housing. Once a year, the program focuses on one university to get the word out.

This year’s effort will be at Western Illinois University in Macomb on what would be Tanner’s 28th birthday. Volunteers will join the Macomb Fire Department and students in passing out smoke alarms and fire prevention material.

Fire Safety Tips

-Test windows and doors to ensure they open.

-Practice alerting other members of an apartment or home.

-Install working smoke detectors.

-Post emergency numbers near telephone.

-Make sure you have a safe method of escape in all situations.

-Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from anything.

-Remain vigilant with smoking materials; never smoke in bed or while sleepy.

-Be careful while cooking — have a working fire extinguisher.

If you or a family member is injured or killed on landlord property, contact the Illinois premise liability lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS.

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