High-profile Los Angeles structures including the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown and parts of Fairfax's Park La Brea are just some of the roughly 6,800 high-occupancy buildings—structures that are considered "the greatest risks for loss of life in major fires"—with no up-to-date inspection from the LA Fire Department, the LA Times reports. Churches, schools, hotels, and apartment buildings number among the structures that are "months and even years" behind schedule for their LAFD checks.
Fire inspections are supposed to ensure that fire extinguishers are ready for use, that sprinkler systems and smoke alarms work, and that escape routes are properly lit and accessible; not having them done on time can mean that the equipment isn't in top shape, and can even make fighting fires more difficult, an expert with the LAFD says.
To get an idea of just how bad the backlog is, here's a look at the relevant numbers:
1 out of 5: Number of large buildings with overdue inspections that were two or more years overdue for a visit from LAFD inspectors
2: The number of inspections that are supposed to happen every year at big buildings like hotels and large apartment complexes
4: Buildings at Park La Brea with fire inspections running behind schedule. (There are 18 buildings in all at PLB)
1: Building at Park La Brea for which there are no records "showing up-to-date fire-safety tests and certifications for elevators, emergency power generators and water systems."
62: Percentage of schools and churches that are behind schedule for fire inspections. That's equal to 2,432 buildings, and doesn't include the Valley. (There, 28 percent of this class of building is overdue for inspection.) This category of building is the one where inspections are lagging the most.
45: Percentage of past-due inspections on "institutional" buildings, like nursing homes, hospitals, and jails
"Thousands": Number of smaller apartment buildings that have never been inspected at all, despite the fact that state law requires all buildings with more than three units to be subject to yearly checks
· Thousands of large L.A. buildings are long overdue for fire inspections [LAT]