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High-Rise Safety Evaluations Made Public Online

City of Chicago puts Life Safety Evaluation online for residents

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High-Rise Safety Evaluations Made Public Online

NBCChicago.com

Two people were hurt on Jan. 29 after a fire broke out in their Edgewater high rise.

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Starting Friday, Chicagoans will be able to search online for information on the Life Safety Evaluation status for hundreds of high-rise residential buildings.

The evaluation results for buildings required to submit an LSE report will be posted at data.cityofchicago.org. The website will update the info monthly, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday.

"Providing this information will strengthen the transparency and accountability in this critical process to ensure the safety of Chicagoans across the city," said Emanuel in a statement.

As of now city ordinances require over 600 buildings to submit a Life Safety Evaluation report. The information determines the current fire safety status of a building and if necessary maps out steps building owners will take to ensure their buildings meet the City's fire safety standards, Emanuel said.

The Chicago Life Safety ordinance was passed in 2004 to improve fire safety in high-rise buildings eight stories or higher. In January, the City required all buildings under the ordinance to update their LSE report progress by Feb. 10.

Still, national fire officials have blasted Chicago’s code as inadequate, because it does not mandate sprinkler systems for older residential high rises. More than a thousand pre-1975 high rises  fall under grandfathered provisions of the city’s controversial fire code.

In December, the Chicago City Council gave building owners until 2015 to complete fire upgrades that had been mandated for 2012.

"The City will do whatever it can to ensure that buildings are able to comply with the law and ensure the essential works gets done," said Emanuel.

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