Sanders Introduces Standpipe Bill
Councilman James Sanders Jr. introduced the Standpipe Bill on Monday, May 11, 2009, in response to the Deutsche Bank tragedy that took the lives of two New York City firefighters, Joseph Graffagnino and Robert Beddia, in August of 2007.
"Regrettably the tragedy of Deutsche Bank taught us a valuable lesson and it cost us the lives of firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino. Never again will we send our firefighters into harm's way without ensuring they are protected." said Sanders Jr.
Sanders' bill would require building owners to improve standpipe systems at construction, demolition, abatement sites and buildings across New York City.
Sanders said that there are five proposals that will improve safety: Establish uniform color coding of standpipe and sprinkler systems so that they are not accidentally damaged and rendered inoperable.
Require that the cutting and capping of a standpipe or sprinkler system be completed by a licensed master plumber or fire suppression piping contractor who has obtained a permit.
Installation of an air-pressurized alarm system in dry standpipes during construction and demolition operations to ensure any breach in the system is immediately detected.
Require site safety managers to conduct daily checks of standpipes and weekly tracing of the system at demolition sites.
"If our brave firefighters have the courage to rush into fires to save lives, the least we can do is ensure they always have proper equipment," concluded Sanders.