A new report says that New York firefighters may be at risk at hundreds of state-owned buildings throughout the city that don’t follow FDNY code.
Following the August 2007 Deutsche Bank fire, which took the lives of two firefighters, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried created a joint New York City-New York State Task Force on Building and Fire Safety.
The task force’s new report (PDF) shows the danger posed by discrepancies in fire codes that allow state-owned buildings in New York City to remain exempt from critical standards.
"Simply put, these major gaps in fire code put our first responders and the public at greater risk. The task force's recommendations will go a long way toward closing these holes and improving safety – but they must be implemented now," said Sen. Squadron, in a statement.
The loophole include a number of buildings at schools including Brooklyn College, City College, Hunter College, as well as the the Jacob Javits Convention Center, Downstate Medical Center and many state office buildings. There are also many state-owned buildings that are leased out to commercial tenants like restaurants and salons that are at risk.
Squadron is urging the creation of consistent standards for building equipment (like standpipes and hosethread connections), as well as how explosives and hazardous materials are reported. They currently fall under different rules between city and state.
The report recommends more thorough fire inspections for state buildings.