After the wettest spring in memory, the city Department
of Health and Mental Hygiene warns that mosquitoes prevention
should be a strong priority this year. Mosquito larvae thrive
in standing water. And the experience of recent years has
shown that mosquitoes are more than just pests; they occasionally
are carriers of West Nile virus.
The Department of Health recommends regular and careful
inspection of all courtyards, terraces and rooftops, sidewalks,
gardens, and park or playground areas to make sure that
there are no puddles or swampy areas. For additional information
about West Nile virus or other health issues, visit the
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website at www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/doh.
DIAL 311 FOR CITY INFO
New York City has developed a telephone line for “one-stop
shopping” for city services. If you have questions
or seek information about any aspect of city government,
you can now dial 311, where trained operators will field
your questions and refer you to the appropriate city agency.
911 continues to be the number to call for serious emergency
help. To report possible suspicious security situations,
you can dial 1-888-NYC SAFE.
DISPOSING OF LARGE ITEMS
The Department of Sanitation provides free curbside removal
of large non-commercial "bulk" items from residential
buildings. Sanitation will collect up to six items from
one address. Regular bulk items (those that are not predominantly
metal) must be placed on curbside between 6 PM and midnight
the night before your regular garbage collection day. Included
are items such as mattresses, microwaves, televisions, sofas
or armchairs, wood tables, etc., old carpets (which must
be free of nails and staples and securely tied in bales
no more than 2 feet high and 4 feet long). Metal bulk (100%
metal or predominantly metal) must be placed on curbside
between 6 PM and midnight the night before your regular
recycling collection day. Included are items such as metal
furniture, washer, dryers, refrigerators and air conditioners.
When discarding freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners,
water coolers or dehumidifiers, the law requires that you
arrange for the recovery of CFC/Freon. For safety reasons,
the law requires that doors be removed from refrigerators
before they are placed on curbside.
5 STEPS TO IMPROVED MAINTENANCE
The following article is abstracted from a more detailed
presentation by Peter Grech, president of the Superintendents
Club of New York in the club’s newsletter SUPER! Mr.
Grech will present a workshop at CNYC’s 23rd annual
Housing Conference on Sunday, November 16th on How Your
Building Works. To learn more about the Superintendent’s
Club or to help your super enroll, consult the Super’s
Club website at www.nysupersclub.org.
Good maintenance is good management, pure and simple, but,
an aggressive, realistic preventive maintenance plan and
a motivated staff are essential.
Step 1: Aggressive Approach. The
superintendent must be aggressive and vigilant in keeping
to a carefully established schedule.
Step 2: Knowledge. A proper
understanding of how the systems and equipment in our building
work is vital to a successful maintenance program.
A good way to learn about building systems is to ask questions
of the persons who perform repairs; by learning more about
the system, the super can learn to prevent breakdowns.
Another way to learn is to go to school. The Thomas Shortman
school at the Union provides free classes in may aspects
of building management for members of Local 32B-32J. To
learn about classes available in September, contact the
Union at (212) 388-3800 or visit their website at www.seiu32bj.org.
New York City Technical College also teaches many classes
in building maintenance and superintendency skills. Contact
CUNY Tech at (718) 260-5500 or visit their website at www.citytech.cuny.edu.
A third path to knowledge is to teach those who perform
maintenance what to do. For instance, just how much grease
should a pump get? Too much will overheat the pump; not
enough will wear out the bearings. And, just what kind of
grease should one use? Its not so simple if one does not
understand the machine. But the pump should have come with
an owner’s manual. The answer is most probably there.
When new equipment is installed, make sure to get the manual
and to keep it in a safe place. If the manual has been lost,
contact the manufacturer, either to get a new manual or
the information you need.
Step 3: Scheduling. When one
understands how a system or piece of equipment works, one
has a good idea of what needs to be done to maintain it.
A schedule of maintenance should be created. Again, an owner’s
manual is the preferred reference, because it spells out
the where’s, when’s and how’s.
Step 4: Record Keeping. Keeping
records of individual pieces of equipment and of systems,
including when they were serviced, whether routine maintenance
or repair, what was done and by whom, is a must.
Step 5: Money and Time. Without
having budgeted for a maintenance program, one cannot expect
to carry it out. Money is needed for tools and materials
necessary to a maintenance program. It’s much cheaper
to budget for maintenance than to have to spend money on
repairs or replacement.
Finally, we need to schedule staff time to perform the maintenance
tasks adequately and completely in accordance with the schedule
established for each building system.
CLOTHES DRYER SAFETY
CNYC thanks Maria Vizzi, president of Indoor Environmental
Solutions for the following information. IES offers inspection
of ducts, chutes, compactor units, fans, hoods, exhausts
and ranges as well as consultation on environmental safety.
Every year, there are over 20,000 clothes dryer fires,
says the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The usual
culprits are highly flammable lint coupled with restricted
air flow or improper ventilation. The frequent use to which
dryers in building laundry rooms are subjected increases
the likelihood that lint will accumulate and that venting
may become blocked. When a dryer is not venting properly,
it is less efficient and costs more to operate. Fortunately,
dryer fire is a risk easily avoided with preventive maintenance.
To prevent laundry room fires, include dryer vent cleaning
in your regular building maintenance schedule. Be sure to
remove all the particles which can easily ignite due to
the combination of trapped airways and heat. While the dryer
is operating, check the outside exhaust to make sure the
air is escaping normally. If too much lint or debris has
accumulated, or if the exhaust system is difficult to reach,
schedule a cleaning with a company specializing in this
service. Related rooftop fans should also be cleaned and