An audit by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office of several municipalities in New York revealed gaps in review of fire safety plans and evacuation plans in public places.
Several buildings in the city were sampled to determine if the fire safety and evacuation plans were in compliance with state fire code. The audit found the following:
Of the 96 buildings visited, 76% did not have a fire safety plan on file that met minimum fire code requirements.
46% did not have an evacuation plan on file that was code-compliant.
56% did not conduct the required number of evacuation drills.
The audit also revealed that officials from five municipalities did not review or approve fire or evacuation plans; and, seven municipalities did not confirm that building evacuation drills were performed.
The fire safety plans and evacuation plans reviewed included buildings such as: adult care facilities, hospitals, hotels, preschools, libraries and shopping malls
DiNapoli made several recommendations to each municipality:
Identify which buildings must have a fire plan and evacuation plan, as well as those that must conduct evacuation drills;
Review and approve all fire plans and evacuation plans in accordance with the fire code;
Keep documented evidence detailing when fire plans and evacuation plans were reviewed and approved;
Ensure that buildings requiring a fire plan and evacuation plan have plans that meet the minimum fire code requirements; and,
Determine whether the required number of drills are conducted in accordance with the fire code and maintain documented evidence of these reviews.