2011-08-25 / Other News

Judge: “Put Those Fireboxes To Use!” (But Can You Find One That Works?)

Charles Rogers

A federal judge last week ruled against a plan to deactivate 15,000 fire alarm boxes in the city, saying it would discriminate against the deaf and hearing impaired.

The city asked a judge to lift a 1996 injunction that blocked an earlier attempt to remove the call boxes.

Officials estimated that the deactivation of the street-box system would save $6.3 million a year. It also argued that most residents use cell phones for emergency calls.

Members of the deaf community are applauding the judge’s decision, saying it will keep thousands of hearing-impaired New Yorkers safe.

Astrictly unofficial study of fireboxes in Canarsie and the surrounding areas found a surprising number of boxes that were: 1). filled with garbage; 2). completely gutted, with the only sections remaining being a shell and 3). completely gutted and filled with garbage. Oh, yes, there were a few – very few – that seemed to be in operating condition.

None of the working fireboxes was located near a nursing home or a facility where there might have been hard-of-hearing residents.



Ugliest firebox, left, is at the corner of East 94th Street and Glenwood Road; Second ugliest, center, is at East 103rd Street and Glenwood and — ahhh — actually working (but untested) firebox is at East 92nd Street and Farragut Road. 
Charles Rogers Ugliest firebox, left, is at the corner of East 94th Street and Glenwood Road; Second ugliest, center, is at East 103rd Street and Glenwood and — ahhh — actually working (but untested) firebox is at East 92nd Street and Farragut Road. Charles Rogers

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