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Honolulu (KHON2) — Approximately four years after the deadly Marco Polo fire, hundreds of residential skyscrapers across Honolulu are struggling with the latest fire protection requirements.
Depending on the requirements passed as a result of the flame, the building association can choose to install a sprinkler or pass an alternative “Life Safety Assessment” (LSE).
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Of the more than 300 old LSE-eligible buildings, only one-third have reviewed and only a handful have passed.
July 2017, Marco Polo Mansion High-rise Fire In Honolulu, four people were killed, more than 12 were injured, and more than $100 million was lost.
In the spring of the following year, a new law came into force, requiring more than 300 old residential skyscrapers to install sprinklers or pass alternative LSEs. Honolulu Fire Department.
HFD overhauls high-rise tactics two years after Marco Polo
Jane Sugimura, President of the Hawaii Community Association, said:
Sugimura lives in a condominium in Pearl One, one of the buildings he didn’t go to.
“One of the recommendations our engineers gave us was that the fire alarm system needed to be upgraded,” said Sugimura. “It will probably run us $ 1.2 million. Sprinklers will probably cost $ 10 million.”
Some of the most common defects that cause evaluation failure are vertical openings. This is the area around the pipes and conduits inside the walls that span many or most floors.
“They told us during the Task Force meeting that the vertical opening of Marco Polo was large enough for people to pass through,” Sugimura said. “It causes problems because the fire and air rise.”
It also hinders passing scores: defective fire and smoke alarms, and adequate closure of corridor doors.
“The fire department says there was a door that remained open with Marco Polo,” Sugimura said. “It’s the door of the hallway that didn’t close, the door of the unit that didn’t close. That’s what the fire spreads.”
Hundreds of buildings have not yet assessed their life safety and are competing for an already extended deadline in May next year, rather than this past spring. Second, corrections flagged for evaluation failures must be completed by the spring of 2025.
“You get every point,” Sugimura said. “In our case, I think we need to have 20 weird things. Some were small and some were big.”
Some changes in the hindsight report on the Marco Polo fire, some resistance.
The Honolulu City Council is holding a briefing on the challenges it has faced on Tuesday afternoon, with apartment owners seeking more time, seeking subsidies such as property tax credits, and permitting. May help.
“Their maintenance costs will go up,” Sugimura said. “If you have to apply for all these buildings to get a permit, they need to track us immediately.”
Rating systems are rare in terms of large cities with sprinkler alternative ratings. Only Chicago has something similar. Honolulu’s LSE is a rigorous chart that evaluates building components and whether residents and firefighters can safely burn.
“If you find it too difficult to pass, it may be time to change the matrix,” Sugimura said. “We will change the requirements, but maintain a proper life safety assessment to ensure that the building is safer.”
Earlier, the Honolulu Fire Department told the city council that it had not proposed changes to fire protection laws or evaluation systems. Follow up after the hearing on Tuesday.
Most buildings failed fire life-safety evaluations, hundreds more are pending. Most buildings failing fire life-safety evaluations, hundreds more pending.