Another fire occurred at a UMass building in Lowell. We remain of the opinion that landlords, particularly commercial landlords are ignoring the key aspect of the Mass. Building codes that call for the installation of fire suppressant systems in certain circumstances, as well as particular types of smoke detectors that have proven far more efficient when it comes to early warning. Most people, unfortunately, don’t know the difference between photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors and wind up purchasing detectors based solely on cost or convenience.
Thankfully, this fire didn’t result in injury, but far too often, such is not the case.
Both catastrophic burns and even death by way of smoke inhalation are avoidable consequences if landlords would comply with the Code. We’ve handled a number of cases where people died in fires but were never burned. Had the buildings in question been equipped with fire suppression systems or the correct type of smoke detector, these people would likely still be alive.
Statistics show that early warning is the very best defense, and these systems provide that very thing. Perhaps if landlords lived in the buildings they own, better systems would be in place and the buildings would be Code compliant.