By now you’ve probably heard about the fire that’s raging on the roof of a chimney in New York City.
And the fire is a real problem.
“It’s a massive fire,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“We’ve got more than 100 firefighters out here fighting the fire, and it’s got a real amount of energy.”
And so it’s understandable that the city would want to do something to slow the fire.
The mayor is calling on people to stay away from the roof, but it’s not clear whether they’re doing anything to prevent the fire from spreading.
New York City is a pretty big city.
The average size of a New York home is about 2,000 square feet, according to the American Association of Realtors.
But many people live in smaller apartments, and the city has no formal building codes.
New Yorkers have to comply with the building code if they want to live in a new apartment building.
That’s where the chimneys come in.
But a new study shows that many New Yorkers are ignoring that law, instead relying on the building codes to build their homes.
A new study from New York State University shows that in some cases, the building owners are ignoring building codes by building new chimneys and then filling them with gasoline.
The authors of the study looked at more than 1,000 New York city homes from 2007 to 2011, and they found that in the most popular construction methods, a single chimney can have up to five separate gas lines.
“If you look at the numbers, that’s almost two to three times more gas that you would need,” says study co-author Daniel L. Cohen.
The authors found that if the building owner used the gas lines to create the chimps, they’d need to build four to six gas lines, which would require an additional two to four times more energy than the existing gas lines needed to build the chimnices.
The study looked specifically at the largest gas-fired chimney designs that were more than four stories tall.
The researchers found that there were more gas lines and chimneys that needed to be constructed for each gas line, which they estimated at $2,000 to $4,000.
In addition, the gas-powered chimneys required an additional $4.6 million to $5.4 million in energy costs, depending on the size of the building.
That extra cost means that a single-family house that’s built with a gas-fueled chimney requires an extra $1,600 in energy bills.
That adds up to a significant energy cost for a home that was only built with the gas system.
Cohen says that in addition to the cost, some homeowners are ignoring the building regulations.
“There’s a perception that the building permit system is not clear, and that they’re not doing enough to enforce building codes,” he says.
The study also found that gas-driven chimneys with multiple gas lines can have a huge amount of pressure.
“One of the things that makes the gas chimneys in the New York metropolitan area so attractive is that they can withstand a lot of pressure, and you can get a lot more energy out of a gas chimney than you can from a conventional chimney,” Cohen says.
The gas-filled chimneys were also found to be more likely to catch fire, which is something that can happen when a chimnish building is heated.
“That’s why it’s really important that they keep their gas-based chimneys off the roof,” Cohen adds.
“It’s an additional expense.”
Cohen hopes that the study will encourage the building industry to take a closer look at building codes and construction practices in New Yorks neighborhoods.
“Building codes and building permits are very important for all building operators,” he adds.
“They’re a very important part of how a building works, and I think the real work should be on what they can be doing to prevent fires and improve fire safety.”
Cohn hopes that other cities will follow New York’s lead, by looking at how they build and maintain their own buildings and take action to ensure they’re compliant with the codes.
“We need to be looking at building code changes, especially in places like New York, and taking a more proactive approach to making sure that our buildings are safe, so that people don’t have to pay the same price as in New Orleans or other cities that have been building with a different building code,” he notes.
“And that means making sure the construction is safe, and there are gas-burning chimneys on every building.”
Follow Drew McWeeny on Twitter at @drewmcweeny.