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For Immediate Release
March 02, 2009

*** WARNING: INCLEMENT WEATHER ADVISORY ***

BUILDINGS DEPARTMENT ADVISES PROPERTY OWNERS, BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS TO TAKE PRECAUTIONARY STEPS IN PREPARATION OF ADDITIONAL SNOWFALL

The National Weather Service forecasts an additional three inches of snowfall and 30 mph winds with gusts up to 40 mph for the New York City area today through Wednesday. In preparation for the snowy weather, the Buildings Department is reminding all builders, contractors, and property owners to secure their construction sites and buildings.  The Buildings Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the city.  If construction sites are not safely secured in preparation for the inclement weather, the Department will take immediate enforcement action with the issuance of violations and Stop Work Orders if necessary

These sustained high winds may reach higher wind speeds than forecast depending on the area of New York City. Property owners must consider the safety of their buildings and construction sites, cranes, suspended and supported scaffolding, hoists, and any other building appurtenances that may come loose from exposure to high winds. Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance or are in delicate condition could be at greater risk. The Buildings Department strongly suggests consulting a professional to advise how to safely secure construction sites and buildings 

 To secure construction sites, builders, contractors and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

  • Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites.
  • Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.
  • Store loose tools, oil cans and extra fuses in a tool box.
  • Secure netting, scaffolding and sidewalk sheds.
  • Suspend crane operations and secure crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater.
  • Suspend hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater, unless manufacturer specifications state otherwise.
  • Brace and secure construction fences.
  • Call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency on a construction site.

To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
  • Close up and secure patio umbrellas.
  • Secure retractable awnings.
  • Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

New Yorkers are encouraged to call 3-1-1 to report non-compliant conditions or 9-1-1 to report emergencies at construction sites or buildings. New Yorkers who suspect a building or property has been structurally compromised should call 9-1-1.
 
Under §28-301.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, property owners are legally obligated to maintain their properties in a safe condition.  Buildings Department weather advisories are strictly a courtesy to remind property owners to prepare their properties for inclement weather and cannot be read to suggest that the Department, rather than the property owner, is responsible for maintaining his or her property.

Contact:     Tony Sclafani/Kate Lindquist (212) 566-3473

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