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Analysis of Fire Inspections in Las Vegas – Interactive Map

Since 2015, sixteen people have lost their lives in a fire in Las Vegas. Data from the National Fire Reporting System shows that in 2018 Nevada had a rate of 42.8 injuries caused by every 1,000 residential structure fires, much higher than the national average of 25.3 injuries per 1,000 fires. A fire can result in devastating and sometimes life-long injuries, death and severe property damage. Each state has a fire code in place to ensure a building’s safety and prevent serious injuries in case of an emergency.

Las Vegas has a history with serious fire incidents, in 1980 a fire at the MGM Grand resulted in 87 fatalities and 700 people injured, it’s considered to be the second worse hotel fire in the country. A year later in 1981 a fire caused by arson at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel killed eight people and injured dozens. Recently the city has suffered yet another fire, on December 21, 2019 the Alpine Motel Apartments erupted in flames taking the lives of six guests and injuring 13 people. Inspections after the accident determined that negligence by the building owner and operator caused the fire, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is currently pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Fires Caused by Negligence and Failed Fire Inspections

The Alpine Motel fire was reportedly caused by a cooking stove used as a heater in absence of an adequate heating system. After the fire, fire inspectors inspected the building floor by floor and found 16 fire code violations including missing smoke alarms, no fire sprinklers, no fire alarm system, missing extinguishers, and the rear exit door was bolted shut from the outside. The owner and operator of the property failed to provide its tenants with safe and habitable living conditions. As a result of their negligence, residents were exposed to unhabitable living conditions, and the risks of an emergency like this were exacerbated instead of mitigated.

Interactive Map

Panish Shea & Boyle personal injury attorneys have partnered with data visualization company 1Point21Interactive to create an interactive map showing residential buildings in Las Vegas with fire code violations found in inspections from 2018. The buildings are color-coded depending on how many violations they have, the darker and larger the point is the more violations the building has. Hover over any point to find more information such as the building’s name, address, number of units, number of violations, and date of the inspection. We have also included emergency 911 calls for fires in 2018, this data is shown as green points in the background.

 

More Findings From the Data

  • From the 1,561 buildings studied in the data, 63.35% of them had one or more fire code violations on their 2018 inspection.
  • About 35% of buildings presented no violations.
  • About 37% of buildings presented over 10 fire code violations.
  • After analyzing the data we found that most of the residential buildings with fire code violations are located on Wards 3 and 5.
  • Most residential buildings with violations are located in Sunrise Manor, Spring Valley, and North Las Vegas.
  • The data shows a total of 4,717 fire code violations.
Ranking Building Name Number of Violations Number of Units Address Zip Code
1 Indian Hills Apts Msa 406 484 4550 W. Sahara Ave 89102
2 The Breaker Apartments Msa 266 400 9901 W. Sahara Ave 89117
3 Playa Vista 129 409 3700 E. Bonanza Rd 89110
4 Crossings At Lake Mead-144 Apt, Msa 88 444 1901 N. Jones Blvd 89108
4 Crossings At Lake Mead-300 Apt, Msa 88 6 5801 W. Lake Mead Blvd 89108
5 Bonanza Gardens Apartments 52 8 2751 E. Bonanza Rd 89101
6 Andiamo Apartments Msa 47 192 4600 Vegas Dr 89108
6 Red Rock Cove Apts Msa 47 10 5001 Obannon Dr 89146
7 Country Club At The Meadows Msa 46 166 300 Promenade Blvd 89107
8 Cornerstone Crossing Msa 37 544 6666 W. Washington Ave 89108
9 Park Vista Apartments 35 196 1001 N. Pecos Rd 89101
10 Stewart Apartments 31 26 320 N. 23Rd St 89101
11 Country Club At The Meadows Msa 23 166 300 Promenade Blvd 89107
12 Emerald Springs Apartments Msa 17 304 451 N. Nellis Blvd 89110
13 Emerald Springs Apartments Msa 16 304 451 N. Nellis Blvd 89110
13 Oasis Emerald Msa 16 132 361 N. Nellis Blvd 89110
14 Berdowsky Apartments 14 4 6224 Ilanos Ln 89108
15 Downtowner Motel 12 128 129 N. 8Th St 89101
15 Senator Richard Bryan Apts 12 275 2651 Searles Ave 89101
15 Woodom Llc Apartments 12 21 2405 Sunrise Ave 89101
15 Villa Monterey Sr. Apts. 12 320 1270 Burnham Ave 89104
15 Emma Saakyan Apartments 12 4 6225 Yerba Ln 89108
15 Charleston Gardens Apartments 12 12 4810 E. Charleston Blvd 89110
15 Triest  Court Apartments 12 4 633 Triest Ct 89110
16 Gertz Apartments 11 3 700 N. 9Th St 89101
16 Koala Apartments 11 50 520 S. Casino Center Blvd 89101
16 Mcknight 1Story Senior Village 11 843 651 Mcknight St 89101
16 Bellota Llc Apartments 11 4 6249 Bellota Dr 89108
16 Charleston Gardens Apartments 11 36 4830 E. Charleston Blvd 89110
16 Charleston Gardens Apartments 11 28 4840 E. Charleston Blvd 89110
16 Charleston Gardens Apartments 11 20 4870 E. Charleston Blvd 89110
16 Charleston Gardens Apartments 11 32 4880 E. Charleston Blvd 89110
16 Oasis Emerald Msa 11 132 361 N. Nellis Blvd 89110
16 Playa Vista 11 409 3700 E. Bonanza Rd 89110
16 Pointe At Centennial Apts 11 94 5900 Sky Pointe Dr 89130
17 Mcintyre Apartments 10 3 1834 E. Bonanza Rd 89101
17 Greenville Park Apartments 10 5 4183 Tara Ave 89102
17 Joseph Bradley Apartments 10 3 1201 Eastwood Dr 89104
17 No Name Yet Living 10 92 525 E. St Louis Ave 89104
17 Morgan Apartments 10 4 6236 Ilanos Ln 89108
17 Yee Apartments 10 4 6245 Bellota Dr 89108
17 Charleston Gardens Apartments 10 16 4820 E. Charleston Blvd 89110
17 Charleston Gardens Apartments 10 24 4850 E. Charleston Blvd 89110
17 Trieste Court Apts 10 1 609 Triest Ct 89110
17 Broadstone Talavera 10 27 2251 S. Fort Apache Rd 89117
17 Pointe At Centennial Apts 10 374 5850 Sky Pointe Dr 89130

 

Common Fire Code Violations

Reports state that the Alpine Motel Apartments hadn’t been inspected since 2017, despite having a history of failed fire inspections for over a decade. Fire inspections are performed to ensure that a building has all the necessary safety equipment and protocols in place to keep residents safe from a potential fire threat. This equipment includes working fire extinguishers, working sprinkle system, working fire alarm, emergency exit doors, clear emergency exit signs, and more. These safety measures help reduce the risk of injuries and death during a fire. Even a single violation of the fire code can result in serious injuries during an emergency.

We reviewed the 2018 fire inspection reports for two buildings in the dataset with the highest amount of fire code violations, Indian Hills Apts with 406 violations, and Playa Vista with 129 violations). Our study found the following as the most common instructions from fire inspectors on standards and equipment that need improvement:

  • Provide and/or repair emergency exit sign lighting.
  • Service fire extinguishers by a Nevada state licensee.
  • Provide smoke alarm for each dwelling unit.
  • Repair or replace defective smoke alarms.
  • Replace smoke alarms older than 10 years.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms.
  • Provide proper fire extinguishers.
  • No combustible storage in mechanical or electrical equipment rooms.
  • No barbeques or open flame cooking devices on balconies or within 10 feet of buildings.
  • Remove exit obstructions.
  • Remove combustible rubbish.

According to the fire inspection report, both Playa Vista and Indian Hills Apartments corrected the fire code violations inspectors found in their buildings.

Expanding Fire Inspection Enforcement

In an effort to prevent these unfortunate accidents, the city of Las Vegas has expanded fire inspection enforcements at apartment buildings and other multi-family housing with a program called the Multi-Family Risk Reduction Program. Regulations in the new program include fines of up to $1,000 per day if irregularities found during the inspection are not corrected and civil penalties increased with each failed inspection.

By comparing the number of fire emergency calls and the amount of fire code violations we can visualize how common a fire emergency is and how vulnerable some buildings are to its risks. As we have learned with previous fires in Las Vegas and recently with the Alpine Motel Fire, fire code violations can pose a serious risk to tenants. We hope this map informs the public about the safety of the buildings in their community and sheds light on a serious issue that could cost innocent lives.

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