A couple of news stories hit my desk this weekend, and I’d love to hear your thoughts…


First, a code inspector in Schenectady, New York has been indicted along with the building manager, in connection with a 2015 apartment fire that resulted in 4 fatalities.  They are facing 4 charges of manslaughter as well as other charges.  One factor in the fire was a non-functioning fire alarm system, but fire doors missing from the stairwells were all cited in the suit.

Code inspector, building manager indicted in fatal Jay Street Fire – The Daily Gazette

Photo: Daily Gazette

Sacks, 39, of Sanders Avenue, Scotia, is accused of failing to maintain the fire detection system at 104 Jay St. from Oct. 20, 2014, to the date of the fire, tampering with or disturbing the required detection and alarm system while the system was not being monitored and allowing the building to operate with no fire doors in hallway stairwells.  The lack of fire doors allowed the fire to spread quickly upward from its fourth-floor origin, Carney said.

What do you think?  Should the code inspector and building manager be held responsible?  Will cases like this increase enforcement of the fire door assembly inspections required by the model codes and NFPA 80?


The second news report (thanks Ron Richter!) is about the need to rekey more than 7,000 affordable housing units because of a stolen locksmith van.  Although the van was recovered, the equipment from inside the van was missing.  If the person who has this equipment and the information that was in the van knows what they’re doing, they could cut keys and use them to access the apartments.

City has to change locks on up to 7,300 affordable housing units after locksmith van stolen – Calgary Herald

Photo: RCMP

The yellow and black ABOE Locksmith van was stolen outside an Airdrie apartment complex, and though the vehicle was quickly recovered Tuesday morning, officials learned equipment and information used to cut keys was missing, according to RCMP.  “The equipment taken could allow someone to create keys for some CHC units,” Sarah Woodgate, president of Calgary Housing Company, said at a news conference Thursday.

How could this problem have been avoided?  What do other housing authorities and similar types of facilities do to safeguard this information?


If you see a news story that might interest the readers of iDigHardware, send it along!

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