Following the death of a Manhattan man after the railing on his 24th floor balcony gave way, NYC has banned residents at 16 buildings from using their balconies.
Inspectors have also found that about 800 building owners have failed to file inspection reports, required every five years, demonstrating the safety of their balconies and terraces. Teams have been conducting street-level examinations, with inspectors and engineers peering up at balconies with binoculars and entering buildings for physical inspections. They have found loose railings, crumbing concrete and unsecured railing posts. “Our inspectors and engineers have visited more than 530 buildings across the city to determine whether the property owners maintained the exterior of their buildings, including balconies,” said Tony Sclafani, the chief spokesman for the Department of Buildings. The enforcement effort is one of the most sweeping on balcony safety in years, and city officials said it was in its early stages.
And this being NYC, residents at the affected buildings seem more worried about their apartments’ resale values than falling dozens of stories to a grisly death.