Heard Around Town

NYC touts faster fire inspections in new report

Wait times for fire alarm inspections were down compared to last year.

FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh

FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh Caroline Rubinstein-Willis/Mayoral Photography Office

There’s no simple, holistic way to evaluate the work of the city’s agencies and its leaders. But New Yorkers will get a look into one fairly comprehensive and data-based review of that work on Tuesday, with the release of the Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report for fiscal year 2024. This annual report is a precursor to the report card for the full fiscal year released in the fall, and covers the first four months of the fiscal year.

And out of more than 2,000 performance indicators recorded across city agencies, Mayor Eric Adams will be touting at least a few heading in the right direction. In July through October of 2023, the average wait time for fire alarm inspections conducted by the Fire Department dropped to 24 days, down from 41 days over the same period the previous year. That also represents a drop from the average 40-day wait period recorded over the whole of fiscal year 2023. 

“Increased efficiency in inspections increases the safety of occupancies and removes the obstacles that stand in the way of economic recovery,” Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said in a statement. “Our fire prevention inspectors work tirelessly to get people into businesses and their homes as quickly as possible.”

Fire inspections have been a touchy subject for the mayor lately, amid reports last year that some inspections – including those for influential developers – have been fast-tracked over others. City Hall has denied the existence of a list that prioritizes certain inspections.

The mayor will release the full preliminary management report on Tuesday afternoon, with new data on closely watched indicators like admissions to city jails, affordable housing construction and staffing levels.

Close followers of the report cards will also likely be eyeing new data on the processing time for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Cash Assistance benefit applications, which has consistently climbed in the previous two reports.