Chicago High-Rises Must Account for Fire Safety Standards

February 11, 2012

Fire safety information on hundreds of Chicago real estate high-rise buildings is now available for the public to see.

Starting Friday, information on the Life Safety Evaluation (LSE) status for hundreds of city high-rises became accessible online.

More than 600 residential buildings in Chicago are required by city ordinance to submit an LSE report, which is used to examine the current fire safety status of a building and figure out if the building owners need to make improvements to meet the city’s fire safety standards.

Chicago high-rises built before 1975 have been exempt from adding sprinkler systems, but a Chicago Life Safety Ordinance passed in 2004 requires those building’s owners to file an LSE in order to improve fire safety standards in older buildings.

All involved building owners were contacted in January and told that they must update the city on their compliance by February 10.

Want to check? You can go online to data.cityofchicago.org, search for a specific residential building required to submit an LSE report and identify its status in the process.

This public outing of LSE report filings comes a month after a woman was killed in a high-rise on Lake Shore Drive when a fire engulfed her as her elevator doors opened.

The online reports will be updated monthly. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said the city will consider further action against building owners who do not comply.

“Providing this information will strengthen the transparency and accountability in this critical process to ensure the safety of Chicagoans across the city,” said Mayor Emanuel.

“The City will do whatever it can to ensure that buildings are able to comply with the law and ensure this essential work gets done.”

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