Crappy Smoke Detectors Cause for Concern?
By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- Co-op City’s delay in installing smoke detectors and GFI receptacles in the community’s apartment represents a health and safety concerns, the bank that holds the community’s mortgage stated.
Wells Fargo Bank, in a July 31 letter that representatives for HUD (the mortgage’s major insurer) and the state’s Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agency also signed, made a point of criticizing Co-op City’s management for failing to install the smoke detectors and the GFI receptacles in 159 of the community’s 15,372 apartments.
An informed source, who is close to management, said, this week, that the letter from the bank, especially as it relates to the smoke detectors and GFI receptacles, represented an effort to “pick on Co-op City.”
Since the installations of the smoke detectors started, they have proved to be a problem for the Riverbay Corporation and the community’s shareholders.
“The smoke detectors are cheap and defective stuff from China,” one Co-op City worker, who wished to remain unidentified, stated. “We have problems with both the smoke detectors, as well as the GFI receptacles. That’s what happens when you buy inferior merchandise. When it comes to the GFI receptacles, there have been significant problems with their installation.”
Shareholders, who wish to remain unidentified, have told the News that there are constant problems with alarms from the new smoke detectors being triggered whenever they cook.
Herbert Freedman, when he ran Co-op City’s management, arranged for the purchase of the smoke detectors and GFI receptacles that were required under terms of Co-op City’s mortgage with Wells Fargo Bank.
The specific requirements are generally specified in mortgages, like the one Co-op City has, in which HUD is the major insurer.
The smoke detectors, which the city’s Fire Department mandated decades ago, are inadequate as far as HUD’s administrators are concerned because their batteries have to be replaced at least once a year.