Draft Proposal for Thursday 11/10 General Assembly: Fire Safety

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

The community at Occupy Wall Street (OWS) in Liberty Plaza (formerly Zuccotti Park) is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and security of all campers and visitors to the park. Therefore, we’ve worked collaboratively with many working groups to produce the following action steps for approval by the General Assembly on Thurs., Nov 10:

  • Establish an OWS Fire Department (“The People’s Firehouse” or Fire Dept. of Liberty Plaza, FDLP) immediately, staffed by trained experts with current NYS Fire Certification and housed in a tent at the park.
  • Buy an Eagle Safety Can and Cabinet Combo, holding 5-gal Type I safety cans, to be house off-site in an indoor location for storage of all flammables.
  • Limit the handling of gasoline, biodiesel and all flammable or combustible substances to individuals trained in their careful use and storage.
  • Offer training in the proper handling of these materials to anyone wishing to obtain it, and certify this training is in place internally with live practice drills using mock-ups and nonflammable liquids before allowing assistance in this capacity within The People’s Firehouse.
  • Ensure that any generators being used are 20’ from any tent or tarp structure within the park, and that these generators are behind a barrier that restricts their access safely from passersby and residents.
  • Clear areas around generators of cardboard, plastic and other flammable materials.
  • Open up paths of egress for safe, timely exit in case of emergency.
  • Strategically place fire extinguishers throughout the camp.
  • Create a Fire Watch Patrol of volunteer firefighters, and add this to our existing Safety Cluster.
  • Hold regular teach-ins in fire safety and emergency preparation, both to Fire Watch Patrol members and to park residents in general.
  • Ensure that any new tents and tarps coming into Liberty Plaza include flame retardant, and replace those already in the park with flame-retardant tents and tarps individually on a case-by-case basis.
  • Communicate this plan to Mayor’s Office, and our fire protocols to the FDNY.
  • Have an interim plan for powering the Media Center and other vital work spaces during the enactment of this plan.

* Purchase of an EAGLE Safety Can and Cabinet Combo from LSS – Lab Safety Supply

Just one purchase helps you stay in compliance with flammable liquid storage regulations.  These combination packages fill Eagle’s best-selling safety cabinets with 5-gal Type I safety cans.

SPECIFICATIONS: Cabinets are constructed of sturdy 18-ga. steel.  Double-walled sides, top, bottom and manual-closing doors all have 1 ½” airspace between walls.  Adjustable shelves support 350 lbs.  Yellow, high-gloss powder finish with red warning label.  All feature three-point key lock, grounding attachment and 2“H leakproof door sill.  Two vents – both with 2” threaded fittings – have a fire baffle and cap.  Red, lead-free safety cans are made of 24-ga. hot-dipped galvanized steel to safely store gasoline and other flammables.  Each comes with a funnel.

COMPLIANCE: OSHA and NFPA Code 30 specifications.  Cans are also C-UL U.S. listed and FM approved.

Item No.: BB1-161600

Capacity: 30 Gallons

Dimensions: 44” H, 43” W, 18” D

No. of Safety Cans: 6

Shipped Weight: 271 lbs.

Unit Price: $934.00

Final Prince including Tax and Shipping: $1231.95

LSS Quote # QC747197

* Propose the following change to generator filling procedure:

For refilling, the generator is to be taken offline and away from the park, and refilled carefully and without spillage using Type I fuel cans and a funnel by a limited group of individuals specifically trained in flammable-liquid control using the safety can system so purchased.  The generator and fuel can are both to be tightly resealed, and wiped down with baby wipes to remove any residue or spillage and prevent any possible build-up of flammable vapors. These wipes will then be safely disposed of as flammable waste materials.

*Interim Plan for powering the Media Center:

The generator will be run from 6pm Wednesday, 11/9/11, until Monday, 11/14/11, as per the above protocols but with zero fuel storage on the part of OWS.  A compliant location will be selected (both the northwest and southeast corners of Liberty Plaza show promise for this) and the generator will be placed behind barriers that prevent passersby and residents from interacting with them accidentally.  A nonflammable covering will be placed as an awning over the generator, in case of rain.  Extension cords will be run from the generator to the power-drawing areas of Liberty Plaza, will be taped down for safety and will have all connections secured and waterproofed during installation.  The generator will be taken offline and refueled off-site as needed, at the nearest gas station, to help ensure in the proper handling of flammables until this plan can be fully in place.  After fueling, the generator will be wiped down with baby wipes to clean off any spills or residues, then returned to service in the park.

3 Responses to “Draft Proposal for Thursday 11/10 General Assembly: Fire Safety”

  1. Nathan Goldschmidt

    Regarding tents: is there to be combustion inside tents? Are there to be ventilation requirements? Are requirements for CO monitoring *if* there is combustion which poses a CO poisoning risk being considered?

  2. A. Fleming

    Very thorough proposal. Thank you.

    My concern is that this reads like two proposals. The first regards establishing a system of fire safety standards– which sound like a great start. The second proposal would seem to be the proposal to purchase the container. It has been my experience that it is usual to break larger proposals down into their smallest components when presenting them at the GA.

    Also, I am a little confused. Both of the proposals I see here pertain to the direct day-to-day operation of the occupation. As such, should this not be a proposal taken to the SC?

  3. Sean McKeown

    @A. Fleming – I presented this to Facilitation and they proposed it for today. Spokes is not ready to hear proposals yet by my understanding, so it is here; we want to take as little control over the lives of our fellow Occupiers as possible, we just want to safely provide power, and need to make an expenditure as quickly as possible to do so safely.

    The purchase may or may not be a separate proposal, I didn’t want to nitpick, but I did want to present as much full information as I possessed. Instead of a footnote, “We need to purchase X for Y price,” I gave a full accounting of the item by its manufacturer’s specifications, rather than rely on people trusting me to know my stuff. :)

    @Nathan: Combustion inside plastic tents is unacceptable, fire code states clearly that these generators or any other flame sources are supposed to be 20 feet away from any plastic tent. Combustion inside a canvas tent, such as the fireproofed Army surplus tents that have been appearing, might be acceptable in concept but are less than ideal in principle, these will likely still be within 20 feet of plastic tents, and there is also the issue of ventilation. We intend to run power cords through the park that can be accessed, and the biodiesel generator provides so much power that this should cover most of the needs. For now, we can even run this only outside of the “quiet hours” without real problem, since we do not yet have to address the concern of heating with the weather as it is yet, but that question will be addressed with further proposals as we figure them out for taking this plan and “winterizing” it.