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Comptroller Audit Shows Need For Improved Enforcement Fire Regulations

Local News

The State Comptroller’s Office has released an audit of local fire inspections. The review says municipalities should improve enforcement of state fire code.

Among the municipalities included in the audit was the City of Ithaca. Of the 18 private buildings that were sampled 15 did not measure up to standards with fire safety and evacuation plans.

The audit also found that many of the buildings — including schools — were not performing the required number of evacuation drills. None of the sites was identified in the report.

Buildings sampled included preschools, hotels, a fraternity, an assembly, a residential facility and private schools.

One preschool completed none of its 12 required evacuation drills in 2013. The report says the city of Ithaca’s Fire Prevention Bureau does not confirm that buildings conduct the required number of drills each year.

The Ithaca Fire Department is responsible for monitoring the fire safety for 1,272 buildings in the city.

Ithaca Fire Department Chief Tom Parsons said he reviewed the audit, and the department is looking at all the suggestions with an eye toward changes. Currently, three people handle the required fire code inspections in the city.

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