Danger To Public

 
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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Danger To Public


An acquaintance mentioned to me recently that he knew someone who needed some masonry work completed. He mentioned the location which is somewhere I never do any work at all even though it isn't too far away. I had to run an errand over that way so I decided to eye ball the project since I was close by.

What I saw was a complete structural failure that is going to collapse eventually, although I can't say when since I never got out of the truck. This is a public area and while I was there, customers were utilizing the property.

If the guy never calls, I am not going to pursue him or the project because the building was obviously constructed improperly and now is a public hazard. The only real course of action is to demolish and rebuild.

Do I have an obligation to report the danger to local officials? Again I did not get out of the truck, but I saw 2 inch gaps in block walls that I am certain are structurally unstable and beyond repair. I have no idea how long ago the damage became visible. We had severe storms in the area from May through early June, so it could be storm related, but the damage has revealed faulty construction methods.

I have not spoken to the owner, I don't even know his name. The property is a self service type facility with no one on duty. I am certain it is being used as I type this .
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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Re: Danger To Public


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Do I have an obligation to report the danger to local officials?
Would you have the same self-doubt if you saw a 50 lb box of nails spilled all over a roadway? If there's clearly a real danger to people and you're not just being a Gladys Kravitz, I'd say it's your duty as a caring human being.

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Old 07-10-2011, 12:18 PM   #3
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Re: Danger To Public


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Would you have the same self-doubt if you saw a 50 lb box of nails spilled all over a roadway? If there's clearly a real danger to people and you're not just being a Gladys Kravitz, I'd say it's your duty as a caring human being.
What Tin said
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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Re: Danger To Public


If you wouldn't feel safe letting your family in the area, I'd report it.

If it was a private area, maybe I'd discuss it with the owner and base my decision whether or not to take further action upon the outcome of the conversation.

In a public area, I think you have a civic duty to make the building department aware of it. If they decide not to take action, at least you'll sleep at night knowing you did your part in attempting to secure the location.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: Danger To Public


I know nails will cause a flat and could cause an accident. I would stop and pick them up.

This problem could have been here for two years, I have never inspected the facility before. I know it is damaged, I don't know how eminent the collapse is. I was in church clothes and the owner does not know I looked at it.

I think it should be closed until a structural engineer confirms its integrity. Small town politics could come into play here depending on the connections of the owner.

I would not let anyone I know into that facility based on what I saw.
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Last edited by dakzaag; 07-10-2011 at 12:25 PM. Reason: response to Lone.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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Re: Danger To Public


how would you feel if you heard someone getting hurt or killed there in the future?

can you call the city to have them go out and look at it?
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:27 PM   #7
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Re: Danger To Public


People who go through life oblivious to inherent danger are innocent bystanders. Those who are aware of those dangers and fail to act, well....
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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Re: Danger To Public


I have the building inspector's number, so that's no problem.

If the building inspector seals the property and then the owner reveals that he had it inspected by an engineer who said it's safe the owner could rightfully pursue me for damages to the reputation of his business.

I will probably call my friend and tell him to forward the message that the building appears to be a public danger and the owner should have it inspected before someone gets hurt.

Then I might leave a message with the inspector.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:42 PM   #9
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Re: Danger To Public


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Originally Posted by dakzaag View Post
I have the building inspector's number, so that's no problem.

If the building inspector seals the property and then the owner reveals that he had it inspected by an engineer who said it's safe the owner could rightfully pursue me for damages to the reputation of his business.

I will probably call my friend and tell him to forward the message that the building appears to be a public danger and the owner should have it inspected before someone gets hurt.

Then I might leave a message with the inspector.
Perfect. The sooner the better though.

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