Property owners in Florida have a duty to maintain a safe environment for anyone that has been invited to their premises. The State of Florida outlines safety standards that place the responsibility of visitors’ safety on the property owners themselves. Any manner of problems could potentially cause serious injury to a person, leaving them with substantial damages, both financial and physical.
If you have suffered an accident that was caused by the failure of a property owner to adequately meet health and safety standards, you may be entitled to compensation. Make sure that you get the justice you deserve by hiring an experienced attorney.
At The Law Place, our team offers free consultations so that you can get the advice you need to take your case forward. With a combined experience of over 75 years, our knowledge will ensure that you have the best representation available. Our lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, so call us today at (941) 444-4444.
Is a Property Owner Responsible for Fire Safety?
It is essential that all property owners are aware of their obligations to meet fire safety standards, as stated in Florida Statute 633.208. In Florida, the guidelines set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) must be followed. These regulations stipulate that several items must be in place, regularly inspected, and maintained for a property to be deemed safe.
- Fire extinguishers – Fire extinguishers must be kept in designated points across a building where they are easily accessible. Instruction labels and nameplates must be forward-facing so that they can be quickly found, and all parts of the extinguisher must be in working order. Monthly inspections need to be carried out so that these standards are maintained. It is the responsibility of the building owner to have inspections carried out, both monthly and annually. Annual inspections must be completed or overseen by a certified individual, who will make sure a record of checks is kept.
- Fire alarm systems – Each property must have a working fire alarm system installed throughout. Inspection, maintenance, and testing must be carried out by a licensed organization separate from the building owner. Before these tests are carried out, everyone on the premises must be notified in order to avoid unnecessary stress. These tests need to be done annually, but certain components, such as back-up batteries, must be checked more frequently.
- Emergency and exit lights – All paths of exit must be illuminated, even when there is a loss of power. Maintenance must be consistent so that bulbs are never dysfunctional. A monthly test should be performed, as well as a full annual test.
These are some of the most important requirements that a building owner must ensure they are meeting. Failing to adhere to the strict guidelines designed to keep a property safe can have serious consequences. If you have been injured in an incident due to someone’s failure to comply with fire regulations, then you have the right to seek compensation. Hiring an experienced accident attorney is the first step to getting your life back on track.
What Safety Standards Do Commercial Business Owners Have to Meet?
In our day-to-day lives, there are huge numbers of commercial spaces that we occupy. From supermarkets to hotels to hospitals, we make use of buildings that are available for the public and therefore are expected to follow strict codes of conduct. All business owners who have real estate that invites people onto its premises must meet regulations to guarantee the safety of the invitees. Here are some areas in which state and local laws require attention:
- Doors – Whilst not a common cause of injury, any malfunction that could have been reasonably foreseen makes the owner liable.
- Windows – Severe lacerations can occur if a broken window is not immediately attended to.
- Aisles – All aisles and passageways must be kept free from obstacles, falling stock, and spilled liquids. This requires employees to make regular checks of the space.
- Floor hazards – One of the most common causes of injury is poor floor conditions. Defective or slippery flooring, spilled food, and worn anti-slip material can lead to cases of trips and falls. Property owners can be held liable if sufficient proof is presented showing that they were aware of the hazard.
- Staircases – There are laws in place which outline the building methods and height requirements for steps and stairways. Furthermore, there must be sufficient lighting and access to handrails. Making sure access is clear of debris, and possible hazards is also a stipulation.
What Safety Standards Do Landlords Need to Follow?
All landlords and property managers have a responsibility to provide their tenants with safe living conditions as stipulated in Florida Statute 83.51. There are requirements for landlords to ensure that they protect their tenants from physical harm coming from hazards in the building or intruders. There are many areas through which a landlord can make sure that their tenants are protected:
- The building’s structure is secure. This includes elements such as stairs, roofs, floors, and walls.
- Insect and other animal infestations are dealt with immediately and safely.
- Hot water and heating systems are in working order.
- The property does not contain toxins like lead paint, mold, or asbestos. The presence of such is handled promptly.
- There are security measures in place to curb criminal behavior, such as functional locks and alarm systems.
- Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have been installed throughout the property and are in working order.
- The plumbing systems are all working. Toilets flush and refill, sinks drain, and water pressure is satisfactory.
Landlords are expected to carry out regular maintenance checks so that every aspect of a property is safe for people to use and inhabit. A failure to do so can have serious consequences and is a direct violation of a property owner’s duty of care.
What to Do if a Property Owner Has Failed to Meet Safety Standards
If you have been injured as a result of negligence in a property, then you may be able to make a case and receive compensation for your suffering. Here at The Law Place, we offer professional advice given by a team of highly experienced attorneys.
Our free consultation service allows you to talk to a lawyer before you make any final decisions about your representation. With our phone lines open all day, every day, you can call us when you need it most.
Contact us today at (941) 444-4444.