Personal injury and/or death can occur due to negligence related to installation and/or maintenance of smoke alarms and sprinkler systems. We often hear in the news terrible stories of a family living in an apartment suffering injuries or death due to the absence of working smoke detectors. It can be easily assumed that in all such cases there follows a lawsuit against the landlord, apartment owner, and/or the maintenance staff.
While cases such as the above capture the public’s attention, there are many other ways in which a finding of negligence could attach to a responsible party. They include, but are not limited to:
Design, placement, installation defects. An example of this includes failure to have an appropriate fire system in place at the time of the fire. With regard to placement, if a heat or smoke detector is placed too near where a ceiling and wall come together, especially if that area is over a door, the heat and smoke could be diverted and bypass the detection unit completely. A unit may be installed incorrectly, which renders it useless to detect or protect.