St Louis has commenced utilizing firefighters to catalog and categorize vacant and abandoned properties.

Fire crews will be asked to spend at least one hour a day surveying vacant buildings and putting them into three categories.

  • Don’t enter under any circumstance.
  • ONLY enter to save a life
  • Safe to enter

Definitely a positive step, however there are still questions and concerns that exist.
As mentioned in the article “When we show up to a burning building our assumption is someone is inside.” Without doing interior inspections, how accurate are the assessments?
Will this be a “one and done” project? As properties are continuously being abandoned, the assessments should be ongoing.
Shouldn’t this project be done in collaboration with code enforcement (and others), to identify and communicate with the responsible parties to hopefully mitigate the safety, security, aesthetic concerns?
Will the focus be on the severely deteriorated properties (as profiled in the below TV report) or will it include the less obvious vacancies, but yet perhaps just as dangerous?

Perhaps, some food for thought.
For more information, please click on the following links

St. Louis fire officials collecting information for vacant building database to keep firefighters safe

St. Louis Fire Department creates vacant home database