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Press Releases / 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 8, 2010


The New York City Fire Department announced today that it has entered into an agreement with New York-based SecureWatch 24 (SW24), granting the Fire Department access to the surveillance video network that SW24 operates in many New York City commercial and residential buildings on behalf of its property owner clients.

The SW24 network will enable the Fire Department to access video surveillance cameras in buildings all across the city, where owners have agreed to allow such access.  The cameras are located in public areas like hallways, lobbies and courtyards, as well as non-tenant areas such as roofs and boiler rooms.

The Fire Department will not regularly monitor the surveillance network video, but rather use it as a resource to aid in an emergency response or investigation.  For example, Fire Department personnel could access the network for real-time monitoring of the scene of a fire or other incident at or near a participating building. Fire marshals could also access the network’s video archives to assist with an arson investigation.

The Fire Department expressed appreciation to SW24 and its property owner clients for making this resource available.  Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano stated: “Access to these surveillance cameras could enhance the Fire Department’s ability to view the scene of a fire or other emergency and investigate arson crimes and other incidents.  This will help us do our job better, enhance public safety, and potentially save lives.”

SW24 was founded in 2006 by Desmond “Des” Smyth, a retired New York City Police Department Detective.  The company provides security and property management services to clients from Boston to Florida.  “We are pleased to make our state-of-the-art network and software available to the FDNY to assist in their mission of emergency response and fire prevention,” he said. “The property owners on whose behalf we work and the residents of New York generally will benefit from having the Fire Department be able to use these 21st century security tools.”

The Fire Department cautioned that, as it will not be continuously monitoring the Network or any particular premises, the public (including property owners, their tenants and employees) should not expect or rely upon Fire Department monitoring of the premises.  Anyone who witnesses or is experiencing any type of emergency situation should always call 911.  The Fire Department also noted that its agreement with SW24 does not constitute Fire Department endorsement of SW24 or its surveillance services.


Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Steve Ritea, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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