Long Beach official discusses importance of inspections in wake of Florida condo collapse

Scott Kemins, the City of Long Beach Building Department commissioner, says his inspectors take a look at multistory residences at least once a year or more often if problems are reported.

News 12 Staff

Jun 25, 2021, 8:20 PM

Updated 1,031 days ago

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Long Beach is one of the few places on Long Island that has lots of mid-rise buildings close together, prompting questions about whether something like what happened in Surfside, Florida, could happen here.
"I think that is the scariest part about it, is that the building can just collapse," says Nathan Murley, of Long Beach. "It wasn't that the building was so old."
Scott Kemins, the City of Long Beach Building Department commissioner, says his inspectors take a look at multistory residences at least once a year or more often if problems are reported. In New York state, Kemins says officials must follow international building codes. In addition, Long Beach officials must follow city codes as well.
Kemins says building codes are constantly evolving and some buildings are grandfathered in while others need to come into code if there are changes. He says that's why inspections are so crucial.
"We typically do an annual inspection of all our multiple dwellings, which is typically more of a fire safety inspection as well as other work that might be going on for permits that are there," says Kemins. "Obviously, my inspectors are trained to keep an eye out for anything that might come to mind that could be an issue."
If there is a problem, the city says engineers are called in to make a determination.
A little more than a decade ago, Long Beach officials did have to evacuate a multistory building because of a structural defect. Everyone was OK, and repairs were made to the building.
At least four people are confirmed dead in the building collapse near Miami, with 159 people unaccounted for.


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