Thursday, June 2, 2011

Window guards, elevators not being inspected

From Metro:

After a 2-year-old girl fell out of a fifth-floor window that her mother said did not have mandatory safety bars, an audit by City Comptroller John Liu alleges that the city is too often lax when it comes to checking that bars are installed.

According to city law, landlords must install window guards if a child 10 years old or younger lives in the building.

The Department of Health fielded 37,148 window guard violations from 2007 to 2009. They then directed the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to follow up. Yet, after looking at a sample — 632 — of those violations, Liu found that HPD closed nearly half of them, 288, without ever verifying with the tenant that bars were indeed installed. An HPD spokesman said inspectors did indeed return to check — they just weren’t always allowed in by tenants.

From the Daily News:

Nearly three years after a 5-year-old died trying to escape a stalled housing project elevator, whistleblowing city inspectors say they're being told to fake reports and take safety shortcuts.

The city Housing Authority vowed to get on top of elevator safety after Jacob Neuman fell 10 stories to his death in August 2008 trying to squeeze out of a stuck lift at a Brooklyn project.

Years later, six inspectors have come forward to say the system remains unsafe because bosses pressure them to close inspections without doing a thorough job.

They say supervisors are obsessed with meeting a daily quota of six inspections a man, often ordering them to move to the next job without shutting dangerous elevators and waiting for a mechanic, as NYCHA rules dictate.

One veteran inspector who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation said he was under constant pressure not to pull the plug on unsafe elevators.

"I told them somebody's wife could be riding on that elevator, somebody's kid," he said. "They didn't want to hear it."


Anonymous said...

Why does anyone need to get inside an apartment to see if the window guards are installed? If they won't let you in, look at the damn windows from the outside. Are they there: yes or no? If no, attempt to gain access again. If they don't allow access send registered letter. If that goes ignored, it's out of the landlord's/city's hands.

Anonymous said...

aside from apathy and common sense, what was stopping the mother from getting the guards herself???

CntrySigns said...

Its cheaper for the apt buildings to pay the fine then to install the guards the right way and to maintain them. It all comes down to the mighty dollar.

Anonymous said...

It all comes down to the mighty dollar.

It all comes down for the parent to take personal responsibility for the safety of their child.

Anonymous said...

How about this for a solution: Tell every parent that if they see a window that requires a window guard and doesn't have one to put one in and send the bill to the city which will promptly reimburse the parent who installs one where it is missing.

That should soak up a billion from the budget.