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Stuy Town Tenants Uncover Rampant Fire Code Violations

By Mary Johnson | July 26, 2012 1:10pm
Tenants who live in the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex uncovered rampant fire code violations through an informal survey.
Tenants who live in the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex uncovered rampant fire code violations through an informal survey.
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MANHATTAN — Tenants at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have uncovered widespread fire code violations throughout the sprawling 25,000-resident complex, prompting a mass inspection by the FDNY.

Nearly all of the complex’s 110 buildings had several fire doors that do not close properly, despite regulations that state those doors must close and latch on their own to prevent the spread of fire, according to the survey conducted by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association and shared with the Fire Department.

The FDNY issued 10 violations for "fire doors" at the 10 buildings it inspected there in the past month, an FDNY spokesman confirmed, and the inspections are continuing throughout the remaining buildings in the complex.

The tenant survey — which was conducted in late spring and included in a letter sent to FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano last month — inspected more than 2,900 doors around the complex, according to information posted on the organization’s website.

Of those, roughly 580 doors in 106 of the buildings in the complex were found to have doors that did not close and latch on their own.

The survey also uncovered evidence that stairwells throughout the complex have become a haven for alcohol, tobacco and drug use, and were used as bathrooms.

“Based on the results of our survey, it appears that management has disregarded its obligation and duty to regularly inspect the doors to ensure that they are operating properly,” Al Doyle, who recently stepped down as Tenants Association president, wrote in his letter to the FDNY.

“The Tenants Association is very concerned that management’s failure to maintain the fire doors throughout the community in compliance with the fire code is a dangerous condition that presents a very real danger to the lives and safety of the residents of this community."

Sean Sullivan, general manager for Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town, said the complex is in the process of addressing all the FDNY violations.

He did not say what, if any, corrections Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village management has made to rectify the problem areas.

“We take fire safety very seriously,” Sullivan said. “We will have all issues resolved well before the FDNY’s required timeframe.”

Regarding the alleged misconduct in stairwells, Sullivan said that tenants who continuously violate community rules or cause disturbances in common areas can have their leases terminated.

“We advise residents who observe any illicit activity to notify our public safety office,” Sullivan added.