City demanding sprinklers in high rise buildings 

The City is cracking down on property owners that haven’t installed, or proven that they plan to install, sprinkler systems in skyscrapers to help fight fires.

Beginning next month, the Department of Building Inspection will stop issuing building permits needed for tenant renovations and other improvements in skyscrapers that are not fully equipped. 

Property owners that filed paperwork with DBI showing when and how they plan to install a sprinkler system are exempt from the new rule, according to department spokesman Bill Strawn.

Strawn said a law took effect in February 1994 that required sprinklers to be installed in buildings 75 feet or taller, by February 2006.

“It's now nearly February 2010, or four years beyond the stipulated compliance date, and the Building Department wants proof of action that the work is under way,” Strawn said in an email.

Some wiggle room in the crackdown will be provided to property owners taking steps to comply with the sprinkler regulations by March 31, according to Strawn.

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