Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting

Miami-Dade Homes with Burglar Bars Persistent Problem for Firefighters

A persistent problem for firefighters are security bars, also known as burglar bars. Many homes in Miami-Dade County still have them, even though most are not up to current state fire code, reports

“It’s just the mentality back in the day. People felt safe with these bars in the windows,” said Miami-Dade Fire Lt. Arnold Piedrahita.

Some homeowners like Priscilla, who declined to give her last name for safety reasons, said the burglar bars were actually a selling point.

“I just really thought about safety. I’m a single mom. I have a 14-year-old son. So that’s basically why I felt safe with them,” she said.

Firefighters like Piedrahita would disagree.

“These bars do not have any type of mechanism or openings for the occupants to get out in case of a fire,” he said.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s training facility in Doral has a state-of-the-art complex built to simulate real-life fire situations. One building has windows fitted with burglar bars, so firefighters and recruits can practice how to cut and pry them open before making entry.

Read more of the story here