LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday approved the expansion of a program to inspect apartment buildings and other multi-family housing — such as extended-stay hotels.
The move comes after 16 people have died in fires since the beginning of 2015 — nine in the Alpine Motel fire last December.
Inspections of the more than 4,700 complexes previously fell to the Fire Prevention Program, and inspections were done in between fire department responses to calls. The expansion of the problem makes the inspections a higher priority, and puts some teeth into the effort to make buildings safer.
Fines of $1,000 per day could be assessed if problems found during inspections are not corrected.
The program, called the Multi-Family Risk Reduction Program, has these goals:
Complete initial inspections of multi-family buildings within 24 months and gain compliance with fire codes. That includes resolving 90% of all violations within 30 days of inspection, and providing training as needed for owners or managers.
Reduce the number of fire injuries and fatalities by at least 25% over the next five years.
Schedule all properties for inspections on a five-year cycle.
Regulations included in the new program include reinspection fees if the property does not pass initial inspection, and civil penalties that grow with each failed inspection. The penalties top out at $1,000 per day for commercially zoned properties.
An annual inspection fee for multi-family complexes of $100 per unit was already in place under existing housing codes.