Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA blog

A report on architecture and design in New York and elsewhere

Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire, A Debate In Urban Design (3 Of 4)

Kudos to FDNY for keeping us safe. Photo by Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

Kudos to FDNY for keeping us safe. Photo by Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

By Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

This is article 3 of 4.

Read article 1. Read article 2.

This is a story of young artists who move into the cities to hone their arts (a good thing), and the lack of affordable space available due to stringent regulations (a bad thing).

The job of a Fire Department is to put out fires when they occur, and to spend reasonable amount of time in preventing these fires from occurring.

FDNY (Fire Department of New York) does a great job in this aspect. Yes, it also does many other things, as proofed by many hours I have spent standing in lines at their HQ in Metrotech, Brooklyn. I would like to give you a sense of the burdens imposed upon them as a study of a fire department in a large city. FDNY reviews Fire Alarms and Evacuation Plans for certain building types, issues Equipment Use Permits for gas furnaces, among other things. 

In addition, the government enthusiasts would like them to visit every commercial space in the city and ensure that it is safe for human occupancy!!!! At least, this is what our Oakland brethren have vociferously claimed.

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

Is this not spreading the core competencies of a very efficient department thin? Are the skills required to put out fires, the same as those for preventing fires?

Who is then to blame for 36 deaths in Ghost Ship Warehouse fire?

Stay tuned for the final article 4 of 4.

Read article 1Read article 2.

By Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

Ghost Ship warehouse fire, Oakland, CA. Photo by Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

Ghost Ship warehouse fire, Oakland, CA. Photo by Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA