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For Immediate Release
August 26, 2011


Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today ordered all work at construction sites in New York City suspended as of 2 p.m. Saturday, August 27 to 7 a.m. Monday, August, 29, 2011, due to the severe weather conditions expected from Hurricane Irene. All previously issued construction permits, as well as after-hours variances and temporary place of assembly permits, are suspended during this time period. This excludes work related to safeguarding construction sites or damage repair work related to the storm. The National Weather Service is forecasting the hurricane will reach the City by early Sunday, bringing heavy rains, storm surges in low-lying areas and strong winds. The severe weather is expected to last between 12 and 18 hours. 

Department inspectors are currently performing inspections of construction sites throughout the City to ensure all equipment is secured and will be conducting additional inspections over the weekend to enforce the no-work order. If sites are not safely secured, inspectors will take immediate enforcement action with the issuance of violations and other necessary actions in coordination with other City agencies. 

All builders, contractors and property owners must take steps to secure their construction sites and buildings, which includes 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.
  • Secure all crane equipment.
  • Secure all exterior hoists.
  • 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.
  • Remove all loose materials from balconies. 

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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