The recent death of Miami man who was overcome by the smoke of a kitchen fire has motivated fire officials to ramp up efforts to inform landlords of laws that require them to place smoke detectors within their rental properties.

“We are currently in the process of contacting all landlords within the city of Miami to inform them of the importance of protecting their property and, most importantly, the lives of their tenants,” said Miami Fire Chief Kevin Trease.

According to state law, owners of property that is utilized as a hospital, church, theater, hotel, motel, apartment house, rooming house, dormitory, rest home, nursing home, day nursery, convalescent home, auditorium or child care institution “shall” install smoke detectors in accordance with nationally recognized codes, standards or practices adopted by the state fire marshal.

“One death, due to the lack of a smoke detector, is one too many,” Trease said. “Sadly, our department continues to find that there are numerous residences without working smoke detectors.”

It is Trease's hope that rental property owners will take action, comply with the law and protect themselves and their property. If so, Trease said their actions will significantly impact the fire station's efforts in a positive way.

“If they purchase the detectors, we will install them,” Trease said. “We want to do everything we can to get working smoke detectors into homes.”

The following recommendations are offered by state and federal safety officials who endorse residential fire protection plans:

€ Install a smoke detector on each level of a home and inside each bedroom.

€ Check smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year.

€ Familiarize children with the sound of a smoke alarm.

€ Do not remove batteries to put in other appliances such as personal stereos or games.

€ If cooking smoke sets off the alarm, do not disable it. Wave a towel, open a window or turn on a fan to clear the smoke.

€ Smoke detectors wear out over time. Replace them every 10 years.

€ Keep smoke alarms clean. Dust and debris can interfere with their operation. Vacuum over and around detectors regularly.

€ Hard-wired smoke alarms with battery back-ups should be considered. When one smoke detector goes off, the others sound an alert, too.

For more information, contact Trease at 541-2322.