Why is Smart Enforcement important? How can and will it make a difference? The NFPA Journal article "Data Driven" (Nov/Dec 2014) directly answers these questions. This article by Jesse Roman tells us about FDNY's Risk Based Inspection System (RBIS), and it is a a program that directly resulted from the Deutsche Bank Building Fire that tragically led to the death of two of FDNY's bravest.
On the 18th of August in 2007, New York City Fire Fighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino became trapped on the upper floors of the Deutsche Bank Building after a fire spread out of control. The structure was undergoing demolition at ground zero and had hazards unbeknownst to the fire fighters such as construction barriers and a disconnected standpipe,. These had not been detected from previous required inspections by the fire department, building department and health department, all of which were not done or not done properly. Beddia and Graffagnino gave the ultimate sacrifice in a situation that should not have happened. Mayor Bloomberg was among those expressing outrage, and ordered the City's inspection process fixed. The RBIS program (at the time of the Journal article in 2014), has evolved to combine the inspection data for all 17 city agencies using almost 7500 risk variables to generate the updated daily inspection priorities for all 330,000 plus buildings throughout the city.
For anyone who questions the value of risk based inspection, go and read or re-read the NFPA Journal article "Data Driven" (Nov/Dec 2014). These inspection efforts can directly prevent the loss of life. New York City Fire Fighters Beddia and Graffagnino are a testament to this hard fact. Never again should a tragic event like the Deutsche Bank Building Fire re-occur.