|For Immediate Release|
August 24, 2011
*** WARNING: INCLEMENT WEATHER ADVISORY ***
BUILDINGS DEPARTMENT ADVISES PROPERTY OWNERS, BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS TO TAKE PRECAUTIONARY STEPS IN PREPARATION FOR HURRICANE IRENE
The National Weather Service forecasts that impacts of Hurricane Irene may reach the New York metropolitan area this weekend, bringing tropical storm or hurricane force conditions which can include heavy rain and strong winds. In preparation for the stormy weather, the Department of Buildings is advising all builders, contractors, developers and property owners to secure their construction sites and buildings. The 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.
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 under heavy winds and rain. Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance or in delicate condition could be at greater risk. The 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.
- Secure all windows.
- Call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency on a construction site.
Buildings Bulletin 2010-019 outlines the requirements for vertical netting, debris netting and material fall protection devices at buildings and construction sites.
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.
- Clear rooftop drains, gutters and leaders.
- Secure all windows.
- 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. 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/Ryan FitzGibbon (212) 566-3473
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