Lifesafety Inspection: We Failed

  • Posted on: December 18, 2014

City of Chicago LSESo, was the Holiday Party just a Milazzo smoke screen? Sorry, bad pun, but it fits. With the revelries and good cheer still lingering in the air, last week the City’s Department of Building conducted its Life Safety Inspection. It’s all being kept rather hush hush presently but the results are in. We failed! Actually, we failed miserably. The party’s so over. In light of the fact we lack a sprinkler system, how badly we did is quite sobering.

Scary actually.  Scarier still, no one much cares! Except one maybe. If you recall, at the Board Meeting September 11, Director Serap Brush asked/insisted that Sudler Property Management conduct a “dry-run” inspection.  At the following Board Meeting on October 9, Brush reiterated that request and was assured by Sudler that it was covered. Property Manager Sara Rudnik characterized the dry run then as being “ongoing.” Sadly, knowing it to be a blatant dodge, that drew a few perverse chuckles from those homeowners in attendance.

Well, no one’s laughing now. The Inspection #11372411 is linked here.  And here’s a quick sampling of the results:

Violation: trash chute doors at 32nd and 33rd floors not latching; 57th floor access panel not rated. Bookmark (city code) 15-8-170 Enclosure of wells and chutes.

Failed to provide stairwell opening with self-closing, framed, 1-1/2 hour Class B door. (15-8-180) 32s—warped door; 3bn, 3bs, 2bn, 2bs, 1bs—defective and/or missing closers and/or latches

Violation: 13-56-280 Mixed occupancy: Fire-resistive separations required.

Failed to provide approved Class A door or other approved assembly on both sides of breach in fire wall. One door must be automatic and other door can be either automatic or self-closing. (15-8-060(c)) garage location-1bs- ‘b’ label door; first floor garage to building missing elevator lobby; first floor stairwell exit into garage-missing fire lobby separation.

Failed to equip exit door with door lock hardware which allows door to open without key or special knowledge from side of egress. (13-160-260(a), 15-4-370) roof use of key to exit.

Failed to remove obstruction from exit way that hampers travel and evacuation. (13-160-070, 13-196-080) metal boxes blocking egress in stairwells at: 12s, 37s, 32s, 26s, 20s; apartment 41k—rear door sealed.

Failed to provide partitions with at least two hour fire resistance to enclose storage rooms exceeding 100 square feet in multiple dwellings, institutional units and assembly units. (15-8-240(b)) storage rooms installed 45 minute doors, ducts go thru storage rooms; 10th floor north end room plywood at top, door not rated. 9th floor storage room missing fire separation. Storage room in basement has one hour fire separation and combustible floor.

Failed to enclose public corridor in multiple dwellings with partitions, floors and ceilings providing at least one hour fire resistance. (13-64-020(b)) plastic access panels at: 54 floor, 28 floor; corridors vents at all floors in meter rooms.

Failed to provide approved self-closing devices on apartment doors opening upon public corridor in residential building over four stories high. (15-8-240(a)(5), 13-196-170) —defective and/or missing closers and/or latches at: 26g, 25ab, 24k back door, 24f, 24c, 24a back door, 23a back door, 23k back door, 22k, 22f, 22a back door, 21a back door, 21k back door, 20k back door, 20j, 20f, 20c back door, 20a back door, 19a back door, 19k back door, 18k back door, 18j, 18e, 18d, 18c, 18a back door, 17a back door, 17d, 17h, 17k back door, 16k back door,15a back door, 15d, 15k back door, 14k back door, 14j, 14c back door, 14a back door, 12a back door, 12c, 12h, 11k back door, 11f, 11d; 57a, 57k, 57h, 57g, 56f, 56c, 56b, 55a, 55b, 55f, 54k, 54h, 54f, 54c back door, 54j, 53a back door, 53g, 53k back door, 52k back door, 52f, 52c back door, 52b, 51c, 51f, 51g, 51h, 51k, 51j, 50g, 50a, 49h, 49j, 49k, 48a, 48k back door,48j, 48c back door, 48h, 47a back door, 47k back door, 47c back door, 47f, 46k back door, 46d, 46a back door, 45a, 45f, 45k back door, 44c back door, 44a back door, 44k back door, 43k back door, 42k back door, 42g, 42a back door, 41a back door, 40k back door, 40c back door, 40c front door, 40h, 40a back door, 39b, 39d, 39k back door, 38k back door, 38c, 38a back door, 36a back door, 38b, 36k back door, 36g, 36e, 36a, 35a back door, 35b, 35f, 35j, 34h, 34a back door, 33a, 32k back door, 32f, 32e, 32c back door, 32a back door, 31a back door, 31c, 31h, 31k back door, 30a, 30k back door, 29a back door, 29j, 29k back door, 28c back door, 28a back door, 28b, 27a, and 27k back door.

Violation: unable to check doors at: 47b, 47d, 32d, 12c. Bookmark 13-196-170 Self-closing devices required for corridor doors.

Failed to use materials of at least four hour fire resistance to separate garage occupancy from residential occupancy. (13-96-280) garage storage rooms—improper fire separation from garage.

Of course, there’s more.  Suffice to say, we have a ton of work to do, and a boatload of money to spend.  But fact is, we have little time.

According to Elizabeth Scanlan, Director of Code Development at the Department of Buildings, “There’ll be no second inspection. Violations [like 111’s] are directly referred to Circuit Court. As part of the litigation process, the building will be reinspected then.” Ms. Scanlan expected that to be late February or the beginning of March.

How might that go? Well, Scanlan said that if it was all fixed by the time we are to appear in Court, the Judge might be lenient. “Again, the objective is compliance,” she said.

Worse case scenario? Considering we’ve known about LSE for 10 years; considering our current board president has had more than 3 years let alone all the other debacles he’s run up; considering that we are already some $1.2M in the hole… the prospects are dismal. According to Scanlan, the worse case scenario if nothing is done, is receivership.

Whatever.  Never mind.  All and all, what’s a few degrees here or there for the poor “Boiling Frog”?

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