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New fire safety requirements for rental units

Were you hurt in an apartment unit that had a fire? Depending on the way your property manager or landlord maintained the fire safety standards of your building, you might be able to file a personal injury claim to seek financial damages stemming from the fire. Fire safety standards are continually being updated and improved, and landlords are required to stay apprised of those changes.

For example, San Francisco fire safety requirements for apartment buildings with three or more units have changed. One of the requirements, which went into effect on March 10, 2017, requires the owners of buildings with three or more units to disclose fire safety information that pertains to their specific buildings. This information must be disclosed to new residents when they move in, or before they move in. Landlords also have to re-disclose the information annually.

Here's what the information that building specific fire disclosure must contain:

-- Locations of fire extinguishers throughout the building along with the dates that they were last serviced.

-- Locations of emergency exits throughout the building and information that they need to be unobstructed at all times.

-- Locations of fire escapes throughout the building and the dates that they were last inspected.

-- Locations of building fire alarm systems and the dates that they were last tested and inspected.

-- Locations of all smoke alarms and CO alarms, along with information for testing the alarms.

-- A floor plan drawing that has the words "EXITS SHALL REMAIN UNOBSTRUCTED AT ALL TIMES" beneath it.

-- A header that says "SAFETY INFORMATION" in letters that are at least 3/4 inches in height and uppercase in a contrasting color.

-- The phone number to reach the San Francisco Fire Department to report any violations.

Are you a tenant in a property that burned down or had a fire, and did you suffer injury because of it? If the owner of your property failed to meet the fire safety standards for San Francisco in his or her management of the property, you may have a viable claim for personal injury damages that you can pursue against the property owner or property manager.

Source: San Francisco Apartment Association, "Fire Safety Requirements - January 2017," accessed May 19, 2017

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