Chicago Tribune, BGA Investigate Deadly Building Fires, Provide Potential Solutions

The Better Government Association and the Chicago Tribune investigated deadly fires in the city and the role the city plays in tenant safety.

The Better Government Association and the Chicago Tribune conducted an investigation into deadly fires in Chicago and the role the city plays in tenant safety in April.

At the time, the city said it shares concerns for resident fire safety and highlighted two efforts to improve conditions, including a 10-year smoke alarm ordinance, which now requires nonowner occupied buildings to install 10-year, sealed-battery smoke alarms, taking the burden off tenants to change the batteries in their smoke alarms.

City Council approved an amendment to strengthen the Building Scofflaw ordinance, which updated eligibility criteria and added mandatory inspections so buildings with serious and chronic code violations can be more effectively prioritized and monitored. The BGA and Chicago Tribune found nine possible solutions to Chicago's problem.