State Senators Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) today introduced legislation aimed at keeping renters safe in the event of a fire. The bill requires a separate means of egress for all dwelling areas above the second story of a residential rental property.

“When a fire breaks out, you have moments to make a decision on how you will escape. Every second matters and ensuring you have an escape plan in place is critical,” said Beagle.

The need for legislative action became evident after two University of Cincinnati students, Ellen Garner and Chad Kohls, were trapped in a third story attic bedroom when a fire started on the second floor. The only safe exit from the room was an internal staircase, which quickly became engulfed in smoke. The 36-foot jump from the third story window onto the cement pavement was not a viable escape route. Ellen and Chad were trapped and decided to try to escape through the smoke-filled stairwell. They passed out from smoke inhalation before the fire department could rescue them, and the two later passed away at a nearby hospital.

Currently, rental homes that have more than two stories are not required to have any secondary means of egress. Additionally, it is common for landlords renovate an attic or top floor into a bedroom, despite the staircase being the only safe means of egress. This practice is often seen in off-campus housing statewide and poses a serious threat to students.

“Egress ladders can be an inexpensive lifesaving tool,” said Lehner. “We need to make sure our families, neighbors, and children can get out alive and safely.”

Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) also introduced similar legislation today in the Ohio House. Both pieces of legislation now await committee assignments.

For additional fire safety statistics and tips, click here

Featured Posts

PHOTO: Lehner Discusses Step Therapy Legislation With Bleeding Disorder Advocates

COLUMBUS - State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) this week engaged bleeding disorder patients, caregivers, health care providers and chapter staff as they prepared for the Ohio Bleeding Disorder Council's 2018 Statehouse Day.



PHOTO: Lehner Honored As Capital Caregiver 2017


COLUMBUS - State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) today received the Capital Caregiver 2017 award from AARP, a leading advocate for aging Ohioans. Lehner received the award as a result of her work on Senate Bill 314 (131st GA), also known as the Ohio Caregiving Act.


Chairwoman Lehner Concludes Hearings On Alianna Alert, Unanimously Passes Out Of Education Committee


COLUMBUS - State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, this week announced the committee passage of Substitute Senate Bill 82, which requires each public school to place a telephone call within 120 minutes of the start of the school day to a parent whose child is absent without legitimate excuse.


Lehner Announces Capital Bill To Invest $2.62 Billion In Local Communities, Highlights Montgomery County


COLUMBUS—State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) announced the introduction of the state's Capital Budget, a $2.62 billion investment in Ohio's infrastructure and local community projects.