Is It Acceptable That No Sprinklers Were Required in Long Island Elementary Schools Destroyed By Fire?

Last month there were two fires in Long Island schools. Just days before there was a fire in Riverhead Charter School, South Bay Elementary School in West Babylon was destroyed by fire, forcing the relocation of its classes to a nearby church.

The school was built in the early 1950s. Fire sprinklers were not required at that time. Since then, updated building codes in New York and other states require sprinklers in school spaces of more than 20,000 square feet. But sprinklers are not required in schools built before the code was changed. In addition, the 20,000 square foot rule … Read the rest

Fatal Fire Brings to Light Deficiencies in Fire Hydrant Inspection Requirements

On February 2, 2009, Amy Yeung perished in an apartment fire in Selden, New York. Firefighters reported that a lack of water pressure in the fire hydrant in her private community, Village in the Woods, made it more difficult to put out the blaze, and forced them to call for two water tankers from neighboring fire departments. This tragedy exposed a deficiency in the inspections of fire hydrants in private communities.

Neither Suffolk County nor the Town of Brookhaven regularly inspects private water systems to ensure that they have sufficient water pressure to fight fires. State fire code mandates annual … Read the rest

One in Three Children’s Toys Tested Found to have Significant Levels of Toxic Chemicals Including Lead, Flame Retardants, and Arsenic

The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, and partners across the country on December 3, 2008, released the 2nd annual consumer guide to toxic chemicals in toys at www.HealthyToys.org. Researchers tested over 1,500 popular children’s toys for lead, cadmium, arsenic, PVC and other harmful chemicals in time for this year’s holiday shopping season. One in three toys tested were found to contain “medium” or “high” levels of chemicals of concern.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission last month announced that in 2008 toy recalls had dropped to 74 from 138 in 2007. Toy recalls in 2007 included toys containing lead … Read the rest

Fire Department Report of Fatal Deutsche Bank Fire Blames NYC Fire and Buildings Departments and the Buildings Contractor

Two firefighters, Robert Beddia, 53, and Joseph Graffagnino, 33, died in the fire that broke out from a discarded cigarette butt in the former Deutsche Bank building fire of August 18th, 2007 during the demolition of the building. After the death of a firefighter, the Fire Department always impanels a site inspections team to study any problems that might have contributed to the death.

A 176-page report written by safety chiefs investigating the blaze was made public this past Thursday, August 21st. A grand jury investigating the blaze is expected to issue indictments next month. Among the findings and … Read the rest

Add Laser Beams to List of Potential Injury Hazards at Concerts

People go to hear live music for a good time, but it’s not unheard of for disaster in the form of personal injury or death to strike. For example, on February 20 2003, fire erupted at a Great White concert killing 100 and injuring 180. The concert fire started when a spark from the band’s pyrotechnic gerbs display ignited the soundproofing foam insulation lining the walls of the club as Great White began their set.

On march 25, 1990, an arsonist started a fire at an unlicensed social club in the Bronx, New York, called “Happy Land”, that killed 87 … Read the rest

Import Surveillance Division Established to Inspect Toys and Other Products for Potential Safety Hazards and Liabilities

29 million toys were recalled in 2007. This unfortunate and scary trend has continued in 2008.

Since the beginning of this year, at least 19 products manufactured overseas have been voluntarily recalled by manufacturers in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) due to high lead levels, choking and aspiration problems in infants and children, magnets potentially causing fatal intestinal perforations, and smoke and fire hazards. Although many of the recalled toys were manufactured in countries which have far less quality controls than in the United States.

U.S. companies that sell and distribute such imported goods could be held … Read the rest