LLCHD Informs Area Landlords on Dangers of Fires

October 18th. One cigarette cost $2.5 million.

October 20th. One cigarette cost nearly $50,000.

Both fires could have been prevented, but not all fires can. On Thursday, area landlords and property owners learned what makes fires today dangerous and what steps they can take to ensure early detection and limit the cost of damage.

This is especially important, since fires today are more dangerous than twenty to thirty years ago; mainly due to the types of furniture and other materials we have in our homes.

"Fires today, the products are made that they burn a lot hotter, a lot quicker, faster, and they produce more heat which makes it difficult for the firefighters because it just contributes to full involvement before the fire department gets there," says Mike Campos, a fire inspector for the city.

Some basic tips include putting out cigarettes properly, keeping lighters out of a child’s reach, make sure candles are in a safe place,

keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammable objects, and make sure your smoke detectors are up to date.

If you do live in an apartment, the health department stressed the importance of having renter’s insurance. It’s relatively inexpensive and can cover lost personal property for tenants, and may reimburse landlords and property owners if the tenant was found to be negligent.

Jody Kraenzel, a local property owner, says that while none of his properties have ever experienced fire damage, it is something he has thought about.

"It’s a big concern. I mean you lose everything, you know, plus you’ve got displaced tenants and other ramifications from that," says Kraenzel.

He says going to the class was very useful and plans to examine his properties closely for any problems.

            Fire Inspector Campos says the city does inspections on an annual or biannual basis, and when a property of three or more units is sold. His hope is that landlords will take the information and pass it on to their tenants.