REMEMBER THE CODE!
What is the Code?
First and foremost it's Cody.
Some of his friends and family called him "Code" or "Code-Man".
Secondly, it's a building code and it applies to rental housing:
NC General statute 42.42 reads:
"All rental (multi-family) property must be inspected ( by the landlord/owner) prior to the beginning of each tenancy and that smoke alarms must be in working / operational order"
In Cody’s case, the house he moved into in August of 2005 was considered a multi-family dwelling. There were eight fraternity brothers in the duplex – four on one side and four on the other. It was a split level house with two floors visible from the front and three from the back. There was a “landlord” who had, for some odd years, been the keeper of the dwelling. The house was owned by someone else. It came to light that the routine maintenance and various repairs to the house were hired out by the landlord to one of the fraternity brothers who occupied the house. It remains the responsibility of the landlord to inspect, prior to the tenancy of each new renter, the existence and function of smoke alarms. But he didn’t inspect the house. And sadly,
THERE IS NO ENFORCEMENT
There is no enforcement of this code. There is not an office to oversee the enforcement, nor officials to conduct inspections. So that leaves it up to the occupants. (Although according to code, it’s the landlord or owner’s responsibility). There were two smoke alarms in the rental house on Cody’s side of this duplex – one in the basement and one inside a bedroom next door to Cody’s that the father of the occupant installed. Cody went to the house after work that Thursday night and spoke to the tenants who were gathered on the other side of the duplex. He went to his room sometime after 11:00 p.m. His last phone call was from his girlfriend right after midnight. He was scheduled to work the next morning.
In the house that night were several guests, on the middle floor under Cody’s room, playing pool and drinking. The last four people left after 4:30 a.m. The fire department was called at 6:30 a.m. after neighbors saw the flames.
The other side of the duplex had sufficient alarms, ladders, extinguishers. The occupant of Cody’s side in the basement who had a alarm, escaped. The occupant whose bedroom was beside Cody’s, jumped from the back window of his bedroom (three flights down.)
We found the smoke alarms in the closet outside Cody’s room after the fire, still in the package.
The cause of the fire was a discarded cigarette that was thrown or had fallen into a love seat and combusted. The pine walls in the 1965 house acted like kindling.
WHAT WE DO
The Cody Blue Foundation, LLC. was formed to facilitate training of parents, students, and fire fighting personnel. We are non-profit and operate from donations and fundraising and with the help of a very supportive community filled with friends, family, and empathizers.
Each October The Cody Blue Foundation, LLC. hosts an Annual Charity Golf tournament to raise awareness and funds to support the
We also donate smoke alarms to fire departments in cities where colleges and universities are located. If you are interested in having us speak to your group please contact:
TEMPLATE FOR THE TRAGEDIES
- Older, off-campus dwellings
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Disabled smoke alarms
- Most happened on weekends and in the early hours
- 41% of fires reported between 5 a.m. to 6:59 a.m.
- 69% were in houses built in 1929 or earlier
- 65% of fire victims are male
- 28% of the smoke detectors were missing or disconnected
There was federal regulation passed (H.Res 295) in September of 2006 proclaiming September as Campus Fire Safety Month.
SO HOW DO WE FIX THIS?
So many houses are remodeled to hold students (as many as possible = more $$) and the renovation is done often without permits. These remodels, if done with a permit, have to meet state and local requirements regarding their structure and safety.
Cody's window after the fire
Because many remodels are done without a permit, there is no inspection. They are under the radar, thus there is no enforcement of these requirements. The responsibility lies on the renter, student and the parents.
We don’t believe that legislation will change the situation. It will take restructuring city government to create a position for inspections alone. Our mission is to reach as many people as we can and beg them to look.
We didn’t look. Our guilt is a monster that haunts us in our sleep and in broad daylight, every day of every week.
Education is our foremost objective. Working with Ed Comeau of the Campus Fire Watch organization, we are approaching every college town, city fire departments, and fire safety personnel to involve them in the Campus Fire Safety Initiative. Because 2/3 of the 14 million college students live off campus, our goal is to ensure that the same protections are available to them that exist on campus.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Join us on our mission. If you are in college or have contact with college-age students, please talk with the college city's Fire Department and make sure they are a part of the Campus Fire Safety Initiative. There are many resource tools available to them to provide effective fire safety education for students.
Consider making a donation today. Thank You
REMEMBER THE CODE
The existence of building codes becomes useless when there is no enforcement. There is sadly no end to our grief because we assumed Cody was in a safe environment. So we ask you to Remember the Code. Remember the building code that no one will enforce to ensure your safety. Inspect your apartment or house. Some local fire departments will install smoke alarms for you if you do not have them, free of charge. If they won’t, please contact us.