Imagine it was a foggy morning, and Engine Company 42 was on its way to a one-alarm fire at a warehouse. On the way to the warehouse, the senior Firefighter (FF) checked his online Department Database to get information about the facility, which he passed on to all the firefighters.

After arrival, FF Jimmy made his way to the roof, where he was applying water to an area with some flames piercing the roof. He moved towards the flames and encountered an HVAC system sitting on the roof. This had not been on the facility information, and Jimmy was surprised. As he moved closer, he felt the roof under his feet buckle, and he and the HVAC system crashed to the floor below. firefighter

Meanwhile, FF Susan had entered the first-floor office area through the main entrance and was moving down the hallway, checking all the rooms. As she moved towards the back exit, she noticed the fire spreading in the area behind her. She moved quickly to the rear exit. As she rounded a turn, she walked into a wall. This dead-end had not been on the facility information data. Sue started tearing the wall down but quickly discovered it was a brick wall. The flames came nearer…

Six months later, the District Attorney was addressing the Jury. “… these fatalities never would have happened had Mr. Jones filed for the proper Building Permits and complied with the Department Codes. Now he is guilty of man-slaughter …”

Building Permits ARE Important. Many property owners feel there is no reason to get a Permit to do “minor” work. Why spend money for an engineer or architect to file with the local Building Department? The work will cost enough as it is. And so, illegal construction takes place, jeopardizing the lives of the facility workers and the firefighters responding to a fire. Make sure you do not end up as a statistic or a defendant. Consider all modifications to buildings in addition to the introduction of chemicals or equipment to a facility that could require a permit. Contact your engineer or architect to have them determine which permits are required and what the codes allow. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Please give Walden Environmental Engineering a call at (516)-624-7200 if you have any questions or would like to know further how these codes and regulations may affect you or your company.