FDNY Modifies Inspection Schedule to Focus on Large Sites

January 15, 2008

The New York Fire Department has modified its inspection schedule to focus on larger and more complex construction and demolition sites in response to a deadly blaze in a condemned skyscraper.

Under the revised plan, the Fire Department said it is requiring that companies inspect buildings less than 75 feet tall every 30 days, while taller buildings would remain on the current 15-day schedule.

“We believe it is a reasonable operational decision,” Jim Long, a Fire Department spokesman, said in Monday editions of the New York Times. “The buildings that are a greater concern and present potentially a greater danger are those above 75 feet.”

The change was made in November following the death of two firefighters fighting a blaze at the former Deutsche Bank building at ground zero. The modified inspection schedule was first reported in Sunday editions of the New York Post.

The former Deutsche Bank had not been inspected since 2006, even though city regulations called for all construction or demolition sites undergo inspection by firefighters every 15 days.

Battalion Chief John J. McDonnell, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said that the 15-day schedule would be impossible to follow for every construction or demolition site in the city given the current building boom.

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