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Tuesday, March 4, 2003

County To Conduct Additional Fire Inspections

All county-owned buildings with places of assembly will be inspected this week to ensure compliance with statewide fire-safety inspections following the recent Rhode Island tragedy that has claimed 98 lives. Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson emphasized that the county's inspections are "standard procedure."

"It did not take a tragedy to move Atlantic County to action," stated Levinson. "We have always complied with the state's Uniform Fire Code and we will continue to do so. Atlantic County remains vehement in its efforts to protect the public and ensure their safety."

Levinson explained that the county performs routine inspections every 3 months. "Atlantic County is not instituting new procedures in reaction to the Rhode Island tragedy, we are simply continuing to do our job," Levinson said.

The inspections are being conducted by County Fire Marshal Harold "Whitey" Swartz. According to Swartz, county facilities were last inspected in December 2002 and were due to be inspected during March. To comply with the state's immediate request he will complete inspections of county office buildings, Atlantic Cape Community College, the Vocational Technical School and county library branches with large meeting rooms by March 9.

"We are all well aware of the problems associated with pyrotechnics which is why they have always been prohibited from county-owned properties. We are also very conscious of occupancy limits and overcrowding," added Levinson.

For more information, please contact Whitey Swartz at (609) 272-9495.

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