It has recently been brought to the attention of the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) and the Executive Staff of the New York Fire Safety Academy that unidentified person or persons have tampered with a standpipe system in a building under construction in New York City.

The FDNY considers any tampering with a Standpipe System to be a serious event. Tampering with a standpipe system endangers the lives of construction workers; as well as the safety of responding firefighters in the event a fire was to occur.


The fire in the Deutsche Bank building tragically resulted in the death of two (2) members of the FDNY. Numerous other members of the FDNY were severely injured while fighting to contain the fire. Investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and FDNY Fire Marshals determined that the standpipe had been tampered with, rendering the system ineffective for firefighting purposes.

The FDNY and the New York Fire Safety Academy consider tampering with a standpipe system, or any of its parts, to be an action which can have tragic consequences. Tampering includes:

  • Removing caps from floor outlets.
  • Shutting down valves without proper notification or permission.
  • Placing rubbish or cans into Fire Department connections.
  • Any deliberate action which can impair the ability of the standpipe system to function as designed.

The FDNY and the New York Fire Safety Academy are dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of fire safety at all construction sites throughout the city. We respect the high degree of professionalism and integrity displayed on a daily basis by all members of the building trades throughout the City of New York. However, it must be noted that the FDNY and the Fire Safety Academy will support criminal prosecution of any person found tampering with or taking any measure that will compromise the effectiveness of fire protection systems in buildings under construction.

Thank you for your cooperation in maintaining the effectiveness of the fire protection systems in buildings under construction. Our only goal is to ensure that all our members return home safely to their families at the end of each work day.


For more information contact Carol Karlin
ckarlin@bteany.com or at 212.704.9745

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