Monday, February 1, 2010

Fire alarm boxes on their way out?

From the Daily News:

Mayor Bloomberg wants to extinguish fire alarm boxes from city streets.

Bloomberg pitched the fiery move this week as part of his budget for fiscal year 2011, saying it would save FDNY $2.5 million.

Since 85% of calls made through the street boxes are false alarms, Bloomberg said, "In the days where everybody has cell phones ... the city would be just as safe without them."

Only 140 structural fires last year out of 26,666 were first called in through an alarm box - and phone calls on those fires came in after the boxes were pulled, according to the FDNY.

But a change in the law is needed to scrap the 15,000 boxes because in 1997 a federal judge said such a move violates the civil rights of the deaf.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is 140 calls that might have been called in with a delay.Yor life means nothing to bloomberg..........

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the mayor on this one. cost vs. benefit is in WAY favor of pulling the boxes.

Not only do you eliminate (untraceable) false alarms, you no longer have to have the expense of monitoring, installing, and servicing the system.

Most boxes are just another place for dogs to take a piss, anyway.

Anonymous said...

It'll save the FDNY 2.5 million?

Chump change in the city's budget!

That's probably what "Parkside" grosses for lobbying in just one year!

Anonymous said...

Many street fire alarms don't work. A lot of pedestals without alarms have been left in place in Queens. I don't know if people who used a street fire alarm for those 140 calls were not also carrying a cell phone or near a pay phone which could make a free 911 call.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said...

Wadda ya need fire alarm boxes for?

I'm closing down the firehouses along with the schools!

RK said...

on 9/11 there were no working phones be it either land lines or cell service in lower manhattan. if you were lucky enough to get a call thru on your phone you experienced busy signals or a message stating that your call could not be completed try again later. How would you like to hear that message while attempting to call for a fire truck while your house is on fire or someone you love is in need of help. during the blackouts when the phones dont work and the cell phones die tell me how we get help then mayor Bloomberg

Anonymous said...

What about the BLUE BUTTON on the right. Police call boxes also!
2.5 million savings? Thats probably just the cost of litigation in losses and suits!

Anonymous said...

Fire Boxes have independent Emergency Generators, They work on their own underground hard-wire system, independent of any other system in order to operate. Thats why they worked during 911, thats why they worked during the blackout and thats why they still work today. Low tech, Simple and dependable for 100 years. The city claims that they would do anything to save one new-yorkers life. How about a few million for multiple calls solely through fireboxes. Hope you have time to grab your cell phone and your kids when your kitchen is on fire as you run out the door. do you really want to depend on cell phone companies for the publics safety? Who will be there to second guess response time after a family dies because a cell tower goes down.
some things just come with the cost of operations, This should be one of them.....

Margaret said...

Imagine a system that allows 24/7 access to the FDNY for every New Yorker, a system that works at the push of a button, one that works even during a power failure, either due to an accidental blackout or terrorism? Wouldn't a dependable means to call for help be worth providing? But how much money would this system cost to design and install in NYC today? Could we even afford it? Well, luckily we already have just such a system; the FDNY Fire Alarm Boxes. Pull a lever or press a button, and help is just minutes away. How can we evn be remotely considering doing away with this system to save a few million dollars? Where are our priorities?