Really the only people qualified to answer your questions are your local building inspector and/or a lawyer. I know in New Jersey standards can be different for owner occupied multi family homes and apartment buildings and inspections may or may not be required depending on the circumstances. You may also be able to get some free advice from your state Department of Community Affairs.
How long have you lived in the apartment? If you are concerned about your safety, why did you take the apartment? And why don't you move? If it is unsafe I am sure the lease can be broken. I will also offer a word of caution, don't use this as an excuse to stop paying the rent until you know exactly what your rights are under the law. You could end up in more trouble than you are in right now.