ITHACA, N.Y. – A state audit of 18 Ithaca buildings showed the majority of them were not meeting fire codes, a report says.

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Of the buildings inspected, the audit shows 15 had incomplete fire plans, 13 had incomplete evacuation plans and 13 did not have enough required evacuation drills.

The audit shows that a hotel and preschool that required 12 annual  fire evacuation drills had no record of conducting any drills, while other buildings conducted only one or two drills in a year.

The report states that city officials told auditors they did not approve building evacuation plans, fire plans or ensure required drills are being performed.

“The report basically shows where there’s deficiencies in record keeping,” said Lt. Thomas Basher, of the Ithaca Fire Department.

He said three code enforcers are responsible for keeping up with over 1,200 buildings and do the best they can to ensure records are filled out.

“We look at the most important things for life safety,” he said. “The people of Ithaca are safe.”

He said the audit was helpful because it shows the department some areas they need to improve.

Ithaca was one of 10 cities selected for a random audit by the Office of the State Comptroller, which audits communities to provide accountability to the tax payers and ensure municipalities are using resources effectively.

The buildings, which were not named in the audit, included an assembly building, fraternity, schools, hotels, and residential buildings. The audit was from buildings’ record from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013.

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Fire Audit Ithaca

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.