One only needs to watch the news regularly to get a sense of the devastation wrought by fire on a home or community. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in 2012 (the most recent year on record) some 97,000 fires broke out in apartment buildings (including condos and HOAs) across the U.S., resulting in nearly 400 deaths nationwide, and over 4,000 civilian injuries—many of them grievous.
What's more, Paul Rouse, a member of the Florida Fire Equipment Dealers Association and 34-year veteran of the fire industry, says that over 12 million unintentional fires go unreported, causing 640,000 injuries annually. Some of those fires happened right here in the Tampa Bay area—and some of them robbed apartment residents of their homes, dreams, and even lives.
In March 2014, three people were seriously injured when a fire broke out in a Tampa condo complex. Two months later, a three-alarm fire ripped through a North Tampa condo complex, destroying 12 units and injuring more than a dozen. Fires like this are more common than people think.
According to the NFPA, the top causes for fires in multifamily buildings are cooking-related mishaps, electrical and heating misuse or malfunction, and smoking materials, such as cigarettes and pipes. While these multifamily buildings take great care in their fire prevention programs—adding cutting-edge smoke alarms, mandatory sprinkler systems, and utilizing top-of-the-line flame-resistant building materials, unfortunately, fires still do happen. And whether they’re a small blaze caused by an out-of-control barbeque on a private balcony or four-alarm infernos the result of electrical problems, the main concern of anyone in the building is to get themselves and their families and neighbors out safely.
More Units, More Risk
When a fire occurs in a condominium, the result is a devastating experience for the residents. That’s why it’s so important to implement an effective fire prevention strategy for all staff and residents.