Fire Safety

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No sprinklers: Could this condo fire death have been avoided? (FL)

Nearly two months later, investigators have not determined the cause of the Sept. 7 blaze that killed Means, an Eckerd College graduate whom his professors call one of the most brilliant students they ever had. Whatever the eventual finding, a

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White Mountain communities embrace Firewise (AZ)

In 1997, the term “Firewise” was coined by the National Fire Protection Association in response to catastrophic wildfires like ones that claimed 1,400 homes in the United States.  Firewise means having a defensible space against fire.  But what exactly does

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Fire safety concerns delay Milford Township condo plan (MI)

The project received preliminary site plan approval from planning officials last month, then hit a snag at the township board meeting Sept. 20, when Fire Chief Thomas Moore said there wasn’t enough room allowed in the plans for fire trucks

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Some Honolulu High Rises Don’t Need Sprinklers, Fire Safety Panel Says (HI)

The Residential Fire Safety Advisory Committee, formed by the Honolulu City Council in August after the Marco Polo fire, is exploring ways to retrofit at least some residential high rises in Honolulu with sprinkler systems without breaking the bank for

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Chalet Village seeks to rebuild Firewise (TN)

One of the Gatlinburg neighborhoods hit hard by the November 2016 wildfires is trying to rebuild and landscape in a way that reduces the risk from flames in the future.  Pete Jucker’s home was one of hundreds incinerated in the

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5 Ways Hawaii Condo Dwellers Can Protect Themselves

When I accompanied our daughter in her search to buy a condominium in Honolulu a few years ago, we didn’t even think to ask the real estate agent if the unit we liked had a fire sprinkler system or how

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What else can be done to prevent deadly high rise fires? (HI)

That’s the question many had at a community meeting on Saturday about fire safety in residential buildings.  City council members requested the meeting following the fire that killed three people as it tore through the Marco Polo building in July.

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Condo Smarts: Gas appliances can present a vexing issue for strata

Dear Tony: Our strata is debating the safety of outdoor gas appliances and considering a bylaw to completely ban their use. Since 2001, we have had two incidents involving gas barbecues: One, an exploded glass balcony wall and another where

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Crazy House Rules Sometimes Make a Lot of Sense (NY)

At a co-op in Woodside, Queens, the house rules include a prohibition against locks with keys on bedroom doors. “Why would such a rule exist?” a mystified shareholder writes to the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times.

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We Must Work Together To Make Honolulu Safer After Fatal Condo Fire (HI)

The fatal fire at the Marco Polo Condominium drew international attention to the longstanding issue of how best to protect Honolulu residents living in high-rises without fire sprinklers.  There are 358 residential high-rise condominium properties, as well as hundreds of

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Fire, Code, Restoration & Safety Tips

Annually, as Fire Prevention Week approaches in October, billboards, public service announcements and the like pop up and heighten our awareness about the dangers of fire. Maybe your local fire department had an open house and the kids learned about

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Condo residents seek cheaper option in making fire-protection upgrades (FL)

A state law is supposed to make condos safer from fire, but most buildings plan to save money by protecting only their common areas, not individual units.  The law requires condo buildings taller than 75 feet and built before 1994

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Condo residents worried about financial troubles to possibly result from fire safety bill (FL)

When it comes to condo living, Florida ranks as one of the states with the most buildings per capita in the nation.  Much of that growth has come in the past two decades, but there are thousands of buildings that

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Smoke Alarms Not Working In Fatal Condo Fire (IL)

Bloomington-Normal residents were reminded Monday to check their smoke detectors after authorities released the cause of a fatal condo fire in Normal.  Diana McLaren-Osburne, 68, was killed in the fire Aug. 6 at her condo at 1538 Hunt Drive in

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Governor Vetoes House Bill 653 (FL)

One of the most talked about community association legislative bills this session was House Bill 653 (HB 653), which proposed changes to the Condominium Act and the Homeowners Association Act. Gov. Rick Scott vetoed HB 653 at 7:55 p.m. on

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HI Officials Discuss Sprinklers in Wake of Deadly Blaze

Firefighters and condominium owners Tuesday met before a City Council committee for the first time since the July 14 Marco Polo fire left three people dead, discussing potential incentives for, as well as obstacles in the way of, retrofitting aging

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No Sprinkler Systems, More Costly Damage in Oahu high-rises

While the actual damage amounts were relatively small, the dramatic difference in losses between the two types of buildings is likely to fuel the debate on whether the city should require old residential high-rises to install automatic sprinkler systems.   Read

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Old Paradise Pines Golf Course now a fire hazard? (CA)

The same residents who were once drawn to live near a lush green golf course in Magalia now look out their back windows in fear.  Dead grass and overgrown weeds have turned the former fairways of the Paradise Pines Golf

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Caldwell proposes mandating sprinkler systems for older high-rise condo buildings (HI)

Three days after a major fire killed three people at the Marco Polo condominium complex, Mayor Kirk Caldwell has sent the City Council a proposal to require high-rise residential buildings without automatic fire sprinklers to install them.

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Deadly Hawaii fire raises concerns about lack of sprinklers in older high-rises across the U.S.

Moon Yun Pellerin was still in shock as she sat on a bench Saturday morning in the crowded lobby of her Honolulu high-rise. Her home on the 27th floor — owned by her 78-year-old mother who has dementia — had

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Fire sprinkler system considered too costly at Honolulu condo tower (HI)

The fire that killed three people at the Marco Polo Apartments condominium tower in Honolulu could have been less severe if the building had a sprinkler system in place.  Residents began returning to the 36-story tower on Saturday after Friday’s

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Condo Balcony Fires

Toronto Fire Services recently held a press conference about the increasing number of fires on condo balconies caused by cigarettes being carelessly tossed from balconies. At the time of the press conference, there had been 27 balcony fires causing over

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Fanning the flames: Naples condos fight fire codes while Marco complies (FL)

At the high-rise condos that dot the Naples and Marco Island skylines, the threat of a deadly fire is real. Without proper fire prevention equipment, a blaze could consume any of the buildings, some 50 years old, that are symbols

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Residents of old high-rise condos in Naples balk at fire prevention costs (FL)

At the high-rise condos that dot the Naples skyline, the threat of a deadly fire is real. Without proper fire prevention equipment, a blaze could consume any of the buildings, some 50 years old, that are symbols of the retirement

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‘It Has Made Us a Better Community’

Eddie Hurt has been president of the Mountain Shadows Community Association since shortly after the Waldo Canyon Fire. In that role, he’s played an active part in the effort to rebuild Mountain Shadows, the neighborhood that he and his family

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Hundreds of goats are teaching Castle Pines high schoolers a thing or two about fire mitigation (CO)

A herd of 300 goats has taken over the Pine Ridge neighborhood in Castle Pines, and surprisingly, residents are happy about it. In fact, they invited them in.  The unique form of wildfire mitigation has been chomping away at the

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Condo Fire Awareness

The devastating fire in London’s Grenfell Tower a few weeks ago put the focus on safety measures in residential buildings. Questions about the structure’s recent refurbishing, safety features, and policies for residents during emergencies continue to emerge. Many dwellers and

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We’re entering fire season. Here’s how to keep your home safe (ID)

Residents of the Meadow Ridge subdivision enjoy a lifestyle somewhere between urban and rural.  A brushy expanse separates the community from the nearby Canyon Rim Trail and Snake River Canyon. Here, a snake glided lazily across a cheat grass-lined dirt

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Goats to reduce Castle Pine’s fire risk one bite at a time (CO)

You may see hundreds of goats in Castle Pines by the end of the month as they chomp down the risk of fire near the Douglas County community.  South Metro Fire Rescue, along with Pine Ridge Homeowners Association, will be

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Fire Sprinklers Getting A Boost At Three Lakefront Condo Complexes (MO)

Three lakefront condo complexes are taking the next step to upgrade their fire sprinklers.  The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District has approved plans for upgrades to the TT water system that supplies the fire sprinklers to the Nantucket Bay, Westside

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Mystic Shores on Path to Firewise Certification (NJ)

Mystic Shores, an active adult community in Little Egg Harbor, is starting the qualification process to become a Firewise Community/USA. The program goal, according to homeowners association member Karen Yock, is to implement fire mitigation concepts wherever possible.  “We are

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Fireplace and Chimney Problems, Tips & Prevention

Most folks consider their fireplaces and chimneys to be indestructible parts of their home that require little or no maintenance. While masonry work is generally as close to maintenance-free as you can get, fireplaces and chimneys are more than just

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Home Fire Safety for Older Adults

The U.S. fire problem is severe. Each year, home fires result in a significant number of deaths and injuries. Older adults are burdened with the gravest fire risk, and are consistently more threatened with injury or death by fire than

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Survive the Unthinkable: If a Wildfire Threatens Your Home

Families in some areas of Wyoming can be safe and secure one day and have their lives turned upside down by wildfires the next. To increase your safety and preparedness, we offer the following.  Ready– Preparing for the fire threat.

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How to Prepare for a Wildfire

Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture. How to Prepare for a Wildfire explains how to protect yourself and your property, and details the steps to take now so that you can act

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Fire Sprinkler Installation and Earthquake Retrofit – Are They Reserve Account Expenses?

Without a doubt installation of fire sprinklers and earthquake retrofits make buildings safer and could save lives when and if they should ever be needed. Some municipalities have passed rules for installation/upgrading/modernization of these systems but most have chosen to

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North Side neighbors clear brush, protect against wildfire (TX)

A spark of community spirit could help save a North Side neighborhood from the spark of a wildfire.  Volunteers from the El Chapparal/Fertile Valley Homeowners Association gathered Saturday for a day of clearing brush. Helped by the San Antonio Fire

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Flathead Valley Homeowners, Agencies Prepare For Fire Season (MT)

After that early visit and evaluation, Baginski spent three years clearing brush from within twenty feet of his house. Some of his neighbors started doing the same thing. Soon he was inviting Ulwelling and other fire experts to homeowners association

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HRCA receives settlement for October fire in Backcountry (CO)

The Highlands Ranch Community Association has received a settlement for the wildfire in Highlands Ranch that it says was caused by Xcel Energy last October, an HRCA official announced at a March 21 board of directors and delegate meeting.  Citing

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Homeowners Anxious for Hydrants After Massive Fire (NC)

People who live in a Mint Hill neighborhood are anxious to finally have more fire hydrants near their homes.  Last week, a fire destroyed one home. Firefighters had to truck in water from nearly a mile away.  Charlotte Water has

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Fire Safety Education for Your Neighborhood

When it comes to having a safe and peaceful community, it is the responsibility of everyone in the community to do their part to keep themselves and others safe. That is why education is so important in a close environment.

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After Langley condo fire, sprinkler rules change

The provincial government has tightened sprinkler regulations for four-storey wood-frame buildings in the wake of a fire that gutted a Langley condo.  The update to the BC Building Code will require fire sprinklers on balconies.  When the Paddington Station condo

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Condominiums May Still Need to Install Engineered Life Safety System After Opting Out of Fire Sprinkler Retrofit

As our regular readers are aware from our previous posts on the subject, there are many questions Florida condominium associations face in determining whether their buildings must be retrofitted with a fire sprinkler system or Engineered Life Safety System (“ELSS”).

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Fire chief: Sprinklers extinguished fire in Park Ridge condo trash chute (IL)

Park Ridge Fire Chief Jeff Sorensen credits sprinklers with putting out a fire and minimizing damage inside an Uptown condominium building.  The fire occurred on the evening of Feb. 12 in a trash chute located inside the Residences of Uptown

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Promote fire safety, not substandard condo housing for the elderly

Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff, a paid lobbyist of Florida condominium associations, in an op-ed on Feb. 14, advocated for a bill that “would allow older high-rises to opt out of an ELSS [engineered life safety system] and, for those who do

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BBQ on the Deck? — You May Cook More Than Your Steak!

Most insurance companies have a Loss Control Team that inspects communities periodically to assess potential threats. After the inspection they send a report to the board or manager with requirements and recommendations. One of the most common, and difficult items

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Fire Planning Tips for Seniors

A home fire is a terrifying moment for anyone, including seniors. If you are an older individual with limited mobility or impairments, it’s especially important you follow these four fire-planning tips because they could save your life.     Read the

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Browder, Village honored for Firewise decade (AR)

Participating in the Arkansas Firewise program brings benefits, Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association board of directors heard last Wednesday at its January board meeting.  Arkansas Forestry Commission’s Firewise information officer Sheila Doughty said helping prevent forest fires is the

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Thawing after weekend freeze setting off sprinkler systems (NC)

Fayetteville firefighters have been busy the past couple of days – not because of fire, but because of ice. Sprinkler systems damaged by frozen pipes have kept them on the move.  Stewart’s Creek Condominiums has one of more than two

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Is Your Fire Insurance Full of Hot Air?

It was one of the worst fires in Catskills history: The 396-unit Grandview Palace Condominiums, formerly the fabled Brown’s Hotel in the Borscht Belt, erupted in flames on April 14, 2012. Seven of its nine buildings were destroyed, though none

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