COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – New legislation was proposed in Ohio Tuesday that would keep renters safe.
State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) introduced a bill that requires alternative exits for any apartment above the second floor of a residential rental property.
Rental homes currently have no such requirements. Perales says it is common that off-campus housing is often renovated space in attics or higher floors, despite a staircase being the only exit.
“This is an issue that is particularly important to me, especially since I dealt with a similar situation in 2000 when I was Executive Director of Facilities at the University of Dayton,” Rep. Perales said. “I want to make sure that we are taking every appropriate measure to ensure the safety of our students and renters in this type of housing. Parents sending their children off to college expect as much, it’s our responsibility and the right thing to do.”
The legislation came about following a fatal fire at the University of Cincinnati that killed two local students, Ellen Garner and Chad Kohls. They were trapped on the third floor of a house that caught fire.
The bill would require that upper floors have alternative ways to exit a burning house such as a rope ladder or outdoor staircase.
State Senators Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) and Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) also introduced similar legislation today in the Ohio Senate.
Both pieces of legislation must now get committee assignments.