According to the New York Times, there are between 12,000 and 17,000 buildings in the city that provide water to occupants using rooftop water tanks. Citing a city survey, the Times also said that 60 percent of NYC building owners don’t bother to make sure the water tanks on their buildings are in basic compliance with city regulations. Some $700,000 in fines were levied against non-compliant buildings between 2010 and 2012 alone.
As we discussed on this blog in December, 10 cities and counties in California earned a surprise win in a public nuisance lawsuit against former lead paint manufacturers and their successor companies. Legal until 1978, lead paint is now known to be poisonous, especially to children. Yet 35 years later, innumerable older buildings in California, here in New York and across the nation still contain the hidden hazard. Lead paint abatement is mandatory in certain circumstances, but countless homes and apartments haven’t received it, risking the health of unknowing renters and homebuyers.
Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration reported finding 147 meth labs, sets of glassware and chemicals, and byproduct-dump sites in New York -- a record high. That points to a growing problem: every meth lab leaves behind toxic chemical residue that could be harmful to later residents, or even neighbors. Unfortunately, renters and homebuyers in New York have no way of knowing whether their new home is a former meth lab.
December is the deadliest month of the year for one particular type of fire. Can you guess which one? If you assumed it was Christmas tree fires, the U.S. Fire Administration wants you to know that’s not the case. While under-watered natural trees and defective artificial ones can indeed be fire hazards, the real danger in December is electrical fires.
When you live in an apartment building or condo complex like millions of New Yorkers, you rely on your neighbors to engage in safe behavior. Unfortunately, your often-unknown neighbors could put you at risk of injury by doing anything from damaging the stairwells to starting a grease fire in their kitchen.
Five years ago, a 34-year-old temporary security guard with one week on the job was trampled to death by a “Black Friday” crowed at a Walmart store in Valley Stream, which is in Nassau County. According to reports, he was the only security guard at the store’s entrance that day, and he was trying to hold the doors closed as an excited, unruly crowd pushed forward, impatient for the store to open. The door came off its hinges and the crowed swarmed in, trampling him and injuring several employees who tried to save him.
After 35 years, history in Niagara Falls’ Love Canal neighborhood seems to be repeating itself. Residents had been assured that the 21,800 tons of industrial hazardous waste once dumped in the Love Canal, which had sickened hundreds or thousands of residents in the 1970s, had been fully cleaned up.