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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 445-09
October 7, 2009

MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS TWO LAWS AS PART OF A COMPREHENSIVE LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE TO ENHANCE SAFETY, COMMUNICATION AND OVERSIGHT AT CONSTRUCTION, DEMOLITION, AND ABATEMENT SITES

Laws Aim to Strengthen Requirements for Pressure Testing of Standpipes and Sprinkler Systems and Require a Standpipe Alarm System in Vacant Buildings

Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The next two bills before me today, Introductory Numbers 986-A, and 1004-A, are part of a comprehensive legislative package aimed at improving safety, enhancing communication, and increasing oversight at construction, demolition, and asbestos abatement sites in New York City, following the tragic fire at the former Deutsche Bank building located at 130 Liberty Street that took the lives of firefighters Joseph Graffagnino, Jr. and Robert Beddia.

"Introductory 986-A, sponsored in conjunction with the Administration by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Gentile, Baez, Vallone, Avella, Fidler, Gonzalez, James, Koppell, Liu, Nelson, Sanders, Weprin, Gerson, Lappin, Eugene, Gennaro, Jackson and Sears strengthens the requirements for hydrostatic pressure testing of standpipes and sprinkler systems.

"A standpipe system is the piping installed in a building that serves to transfer water from a water supply to hose connection at one or more locations in a building for firefighting purposes.  Testing of standpipe systems is currently required at the end of construction of a new building, but not while the building is going up.  It is during the construction phase, however, that some of the most dangerous activities and conditions arise.

"Introductory Number 986-A primarily requires hydrostatic pressure testing for 1) new buildings above 75 feet, with regular tests thereafter; 2) enlargements or additions to an existing standpipe system; and 3) building demolitions and removal of stories, before the commencement of work. 

"Introductory Number 1004-A, sponsored in conjunction with the Administration by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Sanders, Vallone, Fidler, Gentile, James, Koppell, Liu, Nelson, Weprin, Gerson, Eugene, Gennaro and Jackson requires a standpipe alarm system in all vacant buildings and structures undergoing demolition.

"Under current Building Code requirements, all buildings under construction must have a standpipe system once they exceed 75 feet in height, and buildings undergoing demolition must maintain dry standpipe systems.  Standpipe alarm systems detect problems and sound an alarm to notify firefighters or designated safety personnel that the standpipe's integrity has been compromised. Under Introductory Number 1004-A, a registered design professional must apply to install the alarm system, and the bill also sets-out detailed specifications for the system.

"I would like to thank Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler, Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, and their staff for their work on this bill.  I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation"







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