Re: Fire Safety Regulations: Good or Bad?

Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 07:12:07 MDT

>Steve Davies wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Mike Lorrey <>
>> >Steve Davies wrote:
>> That's what I said - the change in practice (which was indeed about more

>> than fire hazard) was produced by purely private action - the other key
>> groups are landlords and developers, hence the use of covenants long before

>> any code is adopted, local or otherwise.
>Landlords and developers are heinously negligent in the implementation,
>and covenant requirements are non-existent unless mandated by a third
>party: the insurance industry or local community. Anything they are not
>required to do, they do not do, and they fight tooth and nail against
>new building code additions that require expensive new systems or
>expensive changes in structural design.

You surprise me here. I was talking about the British situation primarily, where
nowadays it is pretty
much as you describe. However in the past very strict and detailed controls
 were enforced by
covenants, often highly effectively. Did this not happen in North America? (I'm
a complete ignoramus
about the history of planning law etc in that part of the world). There wasn't
a "third party" to enforce
building codes here until 1909 or even 1948 (unless you count the original
landlord such as the
Grosvenor or Russell Estate as playing that role - a possible benefit of feudal
survivals perhaps). The
courts did allow third party action to deal with "neighbourhood effects" under
the common law ground
of nuisance but this is now more difficult than it used to be. Of course there
is the big question of the
trade-off between safety/quality and cost and how to strike the balance but
that's another story as
they say. Steve Davies
>As for fire safety measures, they do mandate the most obvious and long
>accepted measures: mandating smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and clear
>fire lanes for evacuation, though most do so only due to the threat of
>fines to themselves from quarterly or annual fire inspections if their
>community has them. Note the money thing there....

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