County offers burglar bar guidance after kids are nearly trapped by fire

Posted at 4:44 PM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 16:44:12-04

After two kids were nearly trapped in a burning home, Hillsborough County officials want to make sure residents know how to keep burglar bars from trapping someone inside a home that's on fire.

The bars are designed to protect residents fearful of having their home or business broken into, but the same bars can also trap residents inside or keep rescuers out when there is a fire.

To prevent that, the County’s property codes require that if there are only two exits in a room and one of those exits is a window with burglar bars, the bars must have a quick-release option. The quick-release option means the bars can be opened from inside without the use of a key or special tool.

Homeowners are urged to make sure their homes meet current code regulations on burglar bars, and renters are urged to make sure landlords keep their properties up to current code. If landlords do not meet code, a complaint can be made to Hillsborough County Code Enforcement online or by calling (813) 274-6600.