Cooling Tower Safety

Our January Managers Seminar focused on Cooling Tower Maintenance and Regulations, reminding all our property managers what City Regulations govern this important area of safety. After a deadly outbreak of “Legionnaire’s Disease” in the Bronx a few years ago, NYC implemented strict requirements for the annual inspection, cleaning and reporting for all the cooling towers in the City.

Cooling towers, which can be seen atop most buildings in the City, function as part of the heating, ventilation and/or air conditioning (HVAC) system, acting to “cool” the system. Because these towers hold water, they can potentially create an environment where bacteria can grow. While situations like the Legionella outbreaks are rare, they can be extremely dangerous, and thus must be prevented through vigilance and regular preventive treatment.

To meet these requirements, all properties must hire a qualified company to clean and inspect their cooling towers each year, and must file a Maintenance Program and Plan (MPP) annually with the City’s Department of Buildings. Failure to do so may result in considerable fines.

At DEPM, we keep our managers up to date continuously to ensure that all the properties we manage are maintained safely and meet all NYC housing requirements. Not only does this address the health of all residents, but it helps to avoid any fines and penalties for failure to comply with safety regulations.

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David and Mark Drozdov of Creative Environment Solutions spoke to DEPM managers about ensuring the safety of cooling towers at their properties.

 

Business Credentialing Services Ensures Vendor Insurance Compliance

How many contracting jobs are underway each day in your building? There may be an
exterior maintenance company working on the façade, a unit owner renovating a kitchen, repairs being made on the boiler, an installation going in on a rooftop deck, and
potentially a host of others at any given time. Verifying that every vendor, contractor, sub-contractor, supplier and service provider working on your property has proper insurance certificates in place can be a non-stop task. Obtaining, filing and tracking these important documents is a time-consuming prospect, yet one that is essential in order to protect the property and all its residents from risk.

DEPM has begun working with Business Credentialing Service (BCS), a risk management company that screens vendors to ensure that they are in compliance with all of DEPM’s requirements BEFORE they begin any work. Requirements may include a
Certificate of Insurance detailing the compliant policies and limits, a Hold Harmless Agreement between the contractor and DEPM, a copy of the contractor’s W-9, a Contractor’s License if they are required to carry one in New York State, the company’s
Federal Employer Identification Number, and Office of Foreign Assets Control watch list
screening.
We are continuing to expand our database of vetted suppliers, contractors and vendors—all of whom pay an annual fee to BCS, so this service does not add to your
building’s expenses—and intend to require all businesses working in DEPM buildings to
be certified by BCS. Your property manager is working with our executive management
team as we continue to implement and expand this important new service.

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Nick Zoppi of Building Credentialing Services addressed DEPM’s managers at our June in-house Seminar to explain how BCS can help protect client buildings when hiring contractors.

Continuing Education Keeps Managers Current

Given the constantly changing Local Laws and regulations in New York City, and the stream of new technology hitting the market, property managers must keep abreast of trends in their field. We understand exactly what our clients need to remain in compliance and up to date. And we make sure that all of our property managers and their support staff stay current on these issues by holding bi-monthly In-House Training Seminars.

It is this kind of attention to detail that separates the people at DEPM from other managers—they are constantly being educated right in our office so that they can remain at the top of their game, and protect the properties they manage.

At prior seminars, we have brought in experts to discuss the oil-to-gas and “dirty” fuel to “clean” fuel conversion process, best practices for cost-effective façade maintenance, updates on our new accounting and streamlined bill-approval systems, and how we can help our clients save hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel costs.

During our in-house seminars, managers are given the opportunity to question engineers, architects, expediters, accountants and other professionals brought in to teach, helping them understand the many requirements and options that affect their specific properties. In turn, they can pass along this hands-on knowledge to help boards make informed decisions, stay on budget, save money whenever possible, and avoid fines and violations.

At DEPM, we take great pride in ensuring that our entire staff—both in the office and on premises—has the expertise and education needed to run your building as effectively and efficiently as possible, to enhance both the quality of life and the value of your property. This is one of the reasons why more properties than ever are trusting DEPM with their management services.

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DEPM President Jim O’Connor MC’s our Managers Seminar Series, ongoing in-house education for our managers.