Sunday, October 9, 2016

When you have a town with lenient code enforcement it leads to problems like this which could lead to catastrophic results

Yes there is a town I have worked in the past 40 years and I have never ever meet one code official or fire dept member  .It is a well to do community in the North Hills of Pittsburgh near the border with Butler County.
In my 40 years of doing work there I have yet to see one building  in the town which properly meets building and fire  codes or ADA  .Requirements  and it will ultimately lead to the detriment of this community.

I recently was called on a last minute emergency or contractor friend when building he was working in Fire Alarm was not properly working . Seems one of the clients an Online School did a check of its office fire alarm and found pull stations which did not work and fire dept never responded .

I went out to the building and found several issues.

First the building was not being monitored by a24/7 central station.  Instead owner was self monitring with a voice dialer to his cell phone.
Fire panel with illegal voice dialer on top

While the code at time the building was built was fire and panic and not BOCA like other community's around  at time building was built it does not appear it needed monitored under fire and panic act . But if it did need monitored the building inspectors never checked to see that it did.

However the occupancy changed over the years and under modern code absolutely it has to be monitored again where are the code officials following up on this

Then I found non addressable pull stations on  a system which requires addressable pull stations
this was a very dangerous situation because the electrician or contractor who installed that non addressable device caused the whole fire system to be inoperable if you activated the non addressable
pull station and shorted the signaling loop.

The individual never bothered to look just hooked in the pull station and walked away and never tested it again some one required it to be there on plans  but no one from the township chose to come back and make sure it worked.

I had to add horns on to a system twice in a building in this town both times I installed them  and both times no one ever showed up they never even required a fire alarm completion certification the work was done and done so properly  so knowing this contractors regularly take advantage of the situation do what they feel like and could care less if its not done properly

Ultimately this neglect by inspectors of the town to do due diligence will cost the owners of these buildings in the end.

If ADA walks in finds the buildings not conforming to ADA  there are fines and then expensive repairs building owners will have  to do.

If there is a fire and systems are not in place or fail this can lead to major civil court actions for the building owners and denial of coverage.

 It can effect the community's ISO rating and cost more to have fire insurance in the community because property's do not conform to proper codes.

Ultimately some one is going to die in one of these buildings when a sprinkler or fire system malfunctions or otherwise fail to operate due to missing  monitoring etc .

But this is apparently what the community wants relaxed codes and higher insurance premiums This community is nothing more than a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

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