Vacant properties in Coatesville can be a public safety issue.
“They also pose a safety issue for first responders. They pose huge safety issue to the City Firefighters.”
"And the reason is as these buildings go unattended for years on end.. As you well know these buildings are attached or close to other ones, it becomes an issue when we have to stop fires from spreading from structure to structure. Usually without hesitation we put firefighters in these buildings with a calculated risk and if we have this ordnance in place it would make our lives safer and easier if we are able to have a true calculated risk by knowing what these issues are.
We have to go into these structures to prevent fires from spreading from structure to structure. Usually without hesitation we put firefighters into these buildings
If fire fighters pull up to a building at 2 o’clock in the morning that building should have something on it to say if it is secure or not secure.
I can support an annual or bi-annual inspection program for vacant properties. I assure you that is in the paid firefighters job description and we would be more than glad to help the Codes Department at what means possible with these inspections at whatever level the City deems fit…Whatever language you put in there; have it differentiate between a rental home that’s vacant for three months vs. the building at 7th and Chestnut that has been boarded up for 10 plus years.
And the reason is, it you take a building like the one at 7th and Chestnut, that building should be placarded. If the Firefighters pull up in front of that at 2 O’clock in the morning there should be something on that building that tells us the building’s stable; the building’s not stable. The building burnt before and there is a sign on it that says there is already a hole in the roof or maybe the second floors unsafe. So the Firefighters know what they can and can’t do at a moment’s notice.
The placard system wouldn’t cost the City peanuts, couple of cents. It is enforceable through the City’s Codes and Fire Department. It would also provide an inventory, a ready inventory in the fire truck, in the computers with the Police Department and the Codes Department so we know who to call when these buildings are open, which we find so often. The Police have huge issues as well going into these places when there’s vagrants in them and people living in them illegally. I think with a good joint effort between all departments we can make the City safer.
I can’t stress enough the importance of getting a pro-active system in place here in the City of Coatesville from now into the future. Whatever I can do to help you guys or the Fire Chief or the Codes Director; I would be more than glad to help you.
We have an ordinance in place that past Chief Francis Pilotti established that recognizes truss roof construction. You may not be aware that truss roof construction is a killer for firefighters. And the reason is the structure it acts differently under the heat of a fire than conventional construction. We have an ordinance in place now that allows us to, the City; to placard certain buildings under certain conditions specifically to identify this type of construction so that we don’t kill our firefighters. That ordinance has not been in place since the day it was put in. And, in my opinion it needs to be updated again to 2010 standards. While we are working on the safety thing if we could come up with a placard system at the same time we could work on a placard system for the truss construction and over a year of two’s time we could get everything up and running smoothly."
"Identification of Truss Construction"