law 'supports' firefighters
By Jason Doce
The Times Herald-Record
have been given an extra measure of safety – thanks to a new law passed
by the Village Board.The law, passed Jan. 8, requires that any building
supported by lightweight trusses – 2-by-4-inch rafters – be clearly identified.
Lightweight trusses, cheaper
than traditional 4-by-6-inch heavy timber, have a tendency to split apart
when exposed to intense heat, and can cause buildings to collapse.
"We're not going to have
firefighters killed because they don't know how a building is constructed,"
said former West Point firefighter and Washingtonville Building Inspector
Kevin McKeon, who spearheaded the bill.
James Pressnall, of Irving,
Texas, was the first known firefighter to die in a lightweight-truss collapse
Since then, New Jersey has
passed a state law requiring all lightweight-truss construction to be clearly
marked at the entrance to developments or on the buildings themselves.
Albany legislators have yet
to pass a similar statewide law.
Washingtonville local law
requires a speed-limit-sized sign with the letters R (for lightweight roof
construction) or F (for floor construction) to be placed outside homes
or developments that were built using the lightweight-truss technique.
McKeon said he had received
interest from fire departments in Blooming Grove and Wallkill, who have
asked for copies of the law.
Within Washingtonville, he
has received almost unanimous support. And, although developers "might
be annoyed, they're not the ones with their lives on the line," McKeon