Part 3: Demanding Excellence in Fire Safety

The common law, which applies as a general rule, requires that an innkeeper alarm its guests of a fire in a reasonably prompt manner.  Statutory rules place additional duties that address a guests ability to safely escape the fire.  As a guest at a hotel or a nightclub, you have a reasonable expectation that the person managing the property has considered your safety and addressed concerns relating to:

  • fire detection systems
  • the adequacy of alarms
  • fire-proofing potential causes or accelerators of fires
  • installing sprinklers or other automatic fire suppression systems
  • insuring that paths to exits are unobstructed and that exits are functional
  • insuring safe means of egress with a realistic view of the occupancy
  • trained employees as to the proper conduct during evacuation
  • complying all applicable fire ordinances

In other words, as long as you act reasonably and keep your wits, you need to be able to expect that a hotel or club owner will not put you in danger by neglecting any of the above listed matters.

Fire safety experts work with lawmakers to create laws that aim to prevent needless fires, they by imposing rules on design buildings and structures.  Lawmakers and engineers aim to protect people like me and you, who have never been in a fire before, safely exit a burning building even if we’ve never had to do it before.  A good source of information about these current efforts can be found on the National Fire Protection Association’s website. 

If you or a family member have been injured in a building fire, call our experienced attorneys to learn your legal rights. Toll free, 877-724-7800.

Part 1: Fear of No Escape: What we Discover When the Building Catches Fire.

Part 2: No Exit: The Deadly History of Building Fires in the United States