Trade center collapse could lead to building code changes

Friday, August 2nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ New York high-rises could become harder to topple and easier to flee under a wide-ranging building code revision being developed by city officials.

Building and fire officials, engineers, and construction and real-estate industry representatives have compiled a list of changes including tightened standards for equipment such as emergency signs and lighting, which would become more visible to ease evacuations.

Buildings also could be required to sustain the destruction of more than the three floors mandated under current regulations, The New York Times reported Friday.

The proposed changes show that the World Trade Center collapse has the potential to influence how buildings nationwide are built and protected from disaster.

The full range of proposals will be the subject of an Aug. 13 public hearing at the United States Custom House. A complete plan should be presented to the City Council by year's end, the newspaper reported.

``Anything that has a cost attached to it will meet with some resistance,'' Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta told The Times. ``But it is literally the difference between life and death for people caught in a high-rise fire.''

The city proposals mirror a federal report that called for better fireproofing, improved structural supports and the use of impact-resistant stairwells in high-risk buildings.