Safety audit: City let its guard down on window bars
After a 2-year-old girl fell out of a fifth-floor window that her mother said did not have mandatory safety bars, an audit by City Comptroller John Liu alleges that the city is too often lax when it comes to checking that bars are installed.
According to city law, landlords must install window guards if a child 10 years old or younger lives in the building.
The Department of Health fielded 37,148 window guard violations from 2007 to 2009. They then directed the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to follow up. Yet, after looking at a sample — 632 — of those violations, Liu found that HPD closed nearly half of them, 288, without ever verifying with the tenant that bars were indeed installed. An HPD spokesman said inspectors did indeed return to check — they just weren’t always allowed in by tenants.
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