Georgia’s Condo Boom Puts Gun Violence Prevention in the Hands of HOAs

Condominium living has become increasingly popular in Georgia in recent years, between the wave of downsizing baby boomers and the influx of millennial first-time homeowners seeking more modest and centralized options than the suburbs. Although construction has yet to catch up with demand, there are more people living in Georgia condo complexes with each passing year. Unlike apartment complexes or detached houses in informal communities, condos are usually regulated by a governing board or homeowners’ association (HOA). Among their myriad powers over residents, condo associations have the final say on many matters of security, gun safety, and violence prevention. More Square Footage Doesn’t Necessarily Mean More Safety One of the reasons condo living is so popular is that it feels safer than the alternatives. Condos…

Non-Functioning Apartment Complex Gates Expose Tenants to Violence

To many security-conscious renters, a gate is an important amenity, more essential to daily life than a laundry room or onsite parking. The law requires that each individual apartment have a working deadbolt, so in areas where residential crime is common, a properly locking gate for the complex as a whole is a sensible added precaution. Property owners and managers are quick to appeal to prospective tenants’ safety concerns when advertising a gated apartment complex, but after the lease is signed, they’re not always so quick to address those concerns when the gate is misused or in need of repair. It’s standard practice in many complexes to leave broken gates open and unmonitored until they can be fixed, which doesn’t always happen with any particular…

Film set injury

Corner-Cutting on Georgia Film Sets Puts Cast and Crew Members at Risk

It’s no secret that the selection of filming locations depends heavily on local tax laws and other financial factors. It’s also no secret that cost-cutting attempts are one of the most common reasons for neglecting worker safety. Production-friendly local policies have made Georgia one of the movie and TV capitals of the world in recent years, bolstering the state economy with both entertainment industry and tourism dollars. It’s worth recognizing, however, that the same business priorities that bring film crews to Georgia are also the priorities that keep sets unsafe and lead to preventable injuries and deaths. Stunts Aren’t Supposed to Be Deadly Stunt performer fatalities are often treated as an accepted and inherent hazard of the profession. However, the point of hiring trained stunt…

Parking Garages Should Be Safer

Parking Garages Should Be Safer

If you’re a woman living in Atlanta, or any big city for that matter, you’ve probably felt uncomfortable while returning to your car in a parking garage or dark parking lot. Even if you’re a man, these common settings of everyday life are inherently creepy places, isolating and full of blind corners. You may feel paranoid or laugh at yourself once you’re back on the road, but sadly, it’s not all in your head. Incidents of parking garage violence do occur with terrifying regularity in the Atlanta area alone. In March of 2018, a woman was carjacked in a parking structure while returning from her workout class in Atlanta. A group of attackers demanded her car keys at gunpoint. She handed them over and then…

Swimming Facilities Are Responsible for Keeping Customers Safe

Swimming Facilities Are Responsible for Keeping Customers Safe

Taking a swim is a great way to stay cool and keep in shape in the summer, but it’s easy to become wary of this pastime amid the many reports of fatal drowning. Here in Atlanta, the last few years have been especially rough on that front. In 2014, a 4-year-old girl drowned during a pool party at the Ansley Golf Club. A lifeguard was on duty, but apparently didn’t notice when the girl fell in. Just two years later, a 10-year-old boy drowned in the pool of the Westin Peachtree Plaza, at a birthday party for his friend. His death was made all the more sad and frustrating by the lack of information on how it happened. The Plaza’s representatives and the party’s chaperones…

Sexual Assaults at Massage Facilities: An Industry in Need of Regulation

Sexual Assaults at Massage Facilities: An Industry in Need of Regulation

While the issue of sexual assaults in massage facilities may have faded from the headlines in the past few months, it’s far from fading out of reality. The topic first became viral news in November of 2017, when the national spa franchise, Massage Envy, was accused of mishandling the sexual assault reports of over 180 female clients. Even more disturbing than the numbers were the company policies unearthed in the investigation. Massage Envy franchisees had been trained to prioritize public image and customer retention above all else. Complaints were to be handled in-house, and accusers were required to return to the scene of the crime in order for their reports to be considered credible. New Policies Serve the Same Old Purpose: Public Image Massage Envy…

A Closer Look at Premises Dangers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

A Closer Look at Premises Dangers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

Atlanta is home to the single busiest airport in the world, moving nearly 104 million passengers annually. With the city’s convenient placement and history as the birthplace of Delta Airlines, Hartsfield-Jackson has stayed the world’s most popular airport for 19 straight years. As with any such nexus of human activity, however, ensuring safety is a crucial and sizeable challenge that isn’t always met. The Most Hazardous Travel Conditions Are on the Ground Whatever our instincts may tell us, flying is statistically far safer than other forms of conveyance. However, airline passengers must make their way through several of these other conveyances on their way to and from flights, and therein lies the danger. From the moment travelers begin their journey using the services of Hartsfield-Jackson,…

The New MARTA Expansion Should Include Money for Facility Repairs

The New MARTA Expansion Should Include Money for Facility Repairs

Last May, the plan to expand the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), using the half-cent local sales tax increase from 2016, was finally announced in detail. Some have praised the plan for promising to make the Clifton Corridor line a reality, while others have criticized it for leaving the Atlanta Beltline unfinished. Few are talking about the plan’s most dangerous shortcoming, however: a lack of emphasis on much-needed repairs and safety updates. Of the $2.5 billion in expected funding over the course of the project, only 5% has been earmarked for station enhancements, which include not only repairs but aesthetic updates as well. MARTA Facilities Already Have a Questionable Safety Record In 2010, MARTA had to fire its inspection and maintenance contractor, after a…

Georgia Has a High Rate of Apartment and Hotel Gun Violence Deaths

Georgia Has a High Rate of Apartment and Hotel Gun Violence Deaths

If you’re worried about gun violence, your natural instinct may be to retreat to your home or another private space, to reclaim a sense of safety and control of your surroundings. Unfortunately, the numbers tell us this strategy won’t make you safer. Gun violence was the cause of 1,571 deaths in Georgia in 2016, a figure that’s risen 47% since 2005. While mass shootings receive most of the media attention, they only made up a little more than 1% of these deaths — a fairly typical share nationwide in any given year. The rest are made up of one-on-one homicide, suicide, and accidents, many of them occurring in the home. Property Owner Responsibility The issue of landlord responsibility in cases of gun violence has been…

Top Causes of Injuries at Big Box Stores

Top Causes of Injuries at Big Box Stores

In spring of 2018, a two-year-old girl was crushed to death by an unsecured mirror in a Payless shoe store in Riverdale, Georgia. This might sound like a freak occurrence, but the truth is that incidents like this one have been a serious and underreported public hazard for decades now. Nobody wants or expects to put themselves in danger every time they go shopping. We go about our days, running our errands, rarely worrying about whether public places are designed to be safe. In reality, serious danger lies in many core elements of how modern “big box” stores do business. High, Unsecured Shelving The profitability of big box stores depends on volume, selection, and efficient use of space. In many cases, this means shelving in…