Thursday, August 2, 2012

Are state-owned buildings firetraps?

From Bayside Patch:

New York firefighters may be at risk at hundreds of state-owned buildings throughout the city that don’t follow the city's Fire Department codes, according to a new report.

State Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Brooklyn, and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, created a joint New York City-New York State Task Force on Building and Fire Safety following the August 2007 Deutsche Bank fire, which claimed the lives of two firefighters.

The task force’s new report shows the danger posed by discrepancies in fire codes that allow state-owned buildings in the five boroughs to remain exempt from critical standards.

The loophole includes several northeast Queens sites, such as the Udall's Cove Tidal Wetland and the Bayside Hostel, but also a number of other buildings across the borough, including Aqueduct Racecourse, Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, Veterans' Home at St. Albans and the Jamaica Bay Tidal Wetlands.

Other buildings across the city on the list included Brooklyn College, City College, Hunter College and the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

There are also many state-owned buildings that are leased out to commercial tenants, such as restaurants and salons, that are at risk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My company is contractor providing fire alarm monitoring and inspection services for a state agency operating group homes for the mentally disabled. When we began services last year, it was immediately apparent that many of the residences were seriuosly deficient in fire/smoke detection and alarm transmitting capability. We reported our findings right away to the adminstrators who are locally responsble. It became apparent that they were aware of the deficiencies, and the imminent risk, but were bound by budget constrictions from above. These are facilities that house people who require assistance to evacuate. Most of the older homes don't even come close to what is normally acceptable protection for such facilities. The newer facilites are being built with modern fire protection systems. that provide early detection capability. The state needs to find a way to immediately allocate the funds to bring these facilites up to at least National Fire Code Standards.The vulnerability, risk, and potential for disaster here are all unacceptable.