High Rise Safety in Chicago

Posted by Clifford Law Offices on January 24, 2012 |

In 2004, the City of Chicago instituted a number of fire safety reforms for high rise buildings in the wake of a tragic fire that killed six people in a Cook County Administration Building located at 69 West Washington.  Clifford Law Offices represented a number of the victims and their families who suffered loss in that tragedy that will not be forgotten.

According to a Jan. 24, 2012 Chicago Tribune article “[o]f the roughly 700 residential high-rises required to beef up fire safety measures as required under [the] 2004 ordinance, 369 still haven’t submitted plans that meet city approval let alone made the necessary improvements . . . .“

A fired that killed a resident earlier this month occurred in a high-rise building that reportedly had not yet received the city’s approval for its fire safety improvement plan.  The victim of that fire reportedly perished from smoke inhalation after trying to take an elevator to her apartment unaware of the fire on her floor.  According to reports, no alarms were sounding to warn her of the fire above.

The city’s fire ordinance reportedly does not require buildings constructed before 1975 to install sprinklers and critics say that it does not ensure resident’s safety.

The Tribune article says “[i]n the eight years since the ordinance was enacted, only 14 residential high-rises have completed the stricter upgrades called for by the city, the records show. The city has approved the plans of another 309 residential high-rises but hasn’t yet signed off on the work. Most of the rest still need to resubmit their new plans and win city approval.”

Last month the City Council reportedly extended the deadline for compliance with the fire safety reforms by three years from the original date of Jan. 1, 2012.

The full article can be read here.

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