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Fire inspection standards for TCI unclear

Aug 28, 2012 7:21 am
John Mason reports in the Register Star fire inspection standards for the TCI of NY facility in West Ghent remain unclear, nearly a month after the facility burned to the ground, Aug. 1. Columbia County Fire Coordinator John Howe told the paper there is no law in place to require the county or fire companies to inspect the property. West Ghent Fire Chief James Cestermino said his company toured the recycling plant in January or February, following an earlier fire at the site. And while the fire company received TCI's hazardous chemical inventory, it was not informed there was sodium on site for use in recycling transformer oil. Firemen learned of the sodium by chance from a TCI employee on the night of the fire. Sodium reacts violently with water and becomes explosive, producing hydrogen gas. Because TCI was considered a factory, a fire safety inspection was required just once every five years, according to Ghent Building Inspector Walt Simonsmeier, and he was due to pay the plant a visit this fall. He was unaware of the sodium on site, Simonsmeier added. Read the full story in the Register Star. In other TCI-related news, Nathan Mayberg reported at a special meeting Mon., Aug. 27, the Columbia County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with the Emergency Communications Network to provide an emergency notification system. The system, known as CodeRed, will serve as the county's primary method of communication with residents about future emergencies, such as the TCI fire. A reverse 911 The CodeRed system will be created for landline users; mobile phone users will be asked to register to receive messages. Informational materials to explain the system will be produced and made available to county residents. Read the full story in the Register Star.