Councilor Urges New York City Require Public Address Systems in High-Rises

January 14, 2014

A New York City lawmaker is proposing a new fire-safety requirement for high-rise apartment houses after a playwright died trying to flee a blaze in his building.

City Councilman Corey Johnson told The Wall Street Journal the measure would require buildings taller than six stories to have emergency public-address systems. That’s so first responders and building managers can communicate better with residents.

The Fire Department had no immediate response.

Writer Daniel McClung was overcome by smoke in a stairwell after fleeing his 38th-floor Manhattan apartment Jan. 5, when flames swept through a unit 18 floors below.

Fire officials have said residents would have been safe staying in their apartments because of the building’s fireproof design. But some may not have known that.

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