Friday, January 6, 2012

No way to install a Fire System or Enforce a Code

Although it has finally been replaced and new panel installed indoors now I hope they did? this INDOOR ONLY rated non functioning Fire Panel
as rusted as it is was what was protecting an 5 unit apartment building in the town of Leechburg Pa. along River Rd.

It probably worked well that summer of 86-87 but as soon as all the fall rains came and they could get under the enclosure where the panel was installed the panel was toast.
So for how many years this building had no fire protection and the towns code enforcement officer if the town even had one allowed this situation to exist.
Pa.Passed in 1984 the Pa. Fire and Panic act which required all apartment buildings to have fire alarm systems for community's who where not enforcing BOCA Code at the time.
With the rush to comply back then all types of installs where done like this where state and local inspectors allowed INDOOR Only rated system to be installed under semi closed in areas exposed to weather and temperatures because there was no other area to install them.
At the time custom outdoor enclosures where not available but the panels could have been installed in enclosures which could be properly sealed and where was available at the time and it would have protected the panels but instead they let contractors get away with this very bad practice. Leechburg is not the only community I have seen this in Greensburg as well which has many apartment stuctures.
But then again why would you expect anything else in a state where code enforcement has always been a complete joke to excellent depending where you live.
Of course the big rush in the 80's to put these systems in are no longer required when building new apartments but sprinklers are more often now specified now that Pa. has a standard state code in place but too many apartment owners and code people think its OK? to now no longer maintain them and in many cases the non functioning alarms are being ripped out.
But this is not proper either it takes permission of the State of Pa Labor and Industry dept to do so because once a system is installed it must be maintained for life of the building . But then again this is Pa. do what ever you feel like becuse some areas enforce the code properly while the vast majority do not.

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